THE latest Honiara Consumer Price Index (CPI) has shown an upsurge of 0.8 per cent in the month of December, 2017.
CPI is a monthly indicator of the variation in prices for retail goods and other items.
The basket of goods chosen represents the spending behaviour of the population of Honiara and the resulting CPI is used to calculate inflation.
“The Honiara Consumers Price Index (CPI) for the month of December 2017 rose by 0.8 per cent from 186.4 the previous month to 187.8,” said the Government Statistician Douglas Kimi while releasing the statistical bulletin this week.
Mr. Kimi said the minimal increase was largely driven by price increases in food, drinks and tobacco, and transport and communication sub-sections of the index.
“The food sub-index rose by 0.6% to 170.2. This was mainly driven by price rises in selected fresh fruits and vegetables sold at the Honiara market; most notable are kumara heaps (4.1%), Chinese cabbage (24.4%), cucumber (31.6%), bush cabbage (24.4%), tomatoes (6.2%) and green beans (15.0%). These outweighed price decreases mainly in certain goods including fruits and vegetables.
“The price of rice dropped by 0.7% noting an adjustment in volume from 20kg bag to 40lbs (18.14kg). Other price declines include fern cabbage (12.1%), green pepper (11.3%), and bush line (17.7%) to result in the rise of the overall Food sub-index,” Mr. Kimi said.
Other major changes in other sub-indexes include;
- Drinks and Tobacco rose by 2.6% driven by a rise of 0.3% in the price of tobacco and 11.9% in betel nut. Tobacco prices have been revised as a result of an adjustment in volume (25 rolls a pack to a 20 rolls pack) of the pallmall cigarette.
- Clothing and Footwear declines by 0.2% on account of a drop of 2.3% in the price of linen especially blankets and spread sheets.
- Housing and Utilities rose by 0.1% driven by a 0.1% rise in electricity charges and a 2.4% rice in the price of kerosene.
- Household Operations increased by 0.4% resulting from a rise of 0.2% in the price of household appliances and similarly, a 0.7% rise in the price of household supplies, especially washing powder and steel wool.
- Transport and Communications rose by 2.3% on account of price rises in petrol (4.1%), diesel (3.8%) and transport operations (3.1%).
Mr. Kimi said apart from the above, price movements elsewhere in the consumption basket were negligible.
“The overall annual headline inflation rate for the month of December 2017 calculated on a 3 months moving average basis was 1.8%, up 0.2 percentage points from the previous month.
“The corresponding inflation rates for imported and other items were -0.8% and 3.3%, respectively,” he added.
Meanwhile, he said the main underlying rates of inflation based on a 3 months moving average for the month of December 2017 were observed between -1.4% and 1.3% while the headline inflation rate was at 1.8%.