Food Prices Continue Falling


FOOD prices in Honiara continue to fall with 0.03 per cent drop recorded for April 2018.

The National Statistics Office (NSO) latest Honiara Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the month of April 2018 has revealed.

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.

Government Statistician (GS) Douglas Kimi while releasing the official statistics on Thursday 31 May 2018 said the slight fall was 0.03 per cent from 194.7 in March to 194.6.

He said the price fall was mainly driven by price drops in Drinks and Tobacco, and Household Operation categories of the index, which outweighed price increases in Food, and Housing and Utilities sub-indexes.

“The Food index went up during the month by 0.9 per cent to 181.9. This was mainly driven by price rises in sugar 3.1 per cent, and fresh fruits and vegetables sold at the Honiara market; most notable were bush cabbage 25.8% per cent, pawpaw 22.0 per cent, tomatoes 20.7 per cent, fern cabbage 17.0 per cent, cooking banana 3.1per cent, green coconut 1.9 per cent, spring onion 8.2 per cent and green pepper 8.6 per cent. These outweighed price drops in dry coconuts -23.5 per cent, melon -14.2 per cent, Chinese cabbage -8.4 per cent, cucumber -7.2 per cent, kumara heaps -6.9 per cent, cassava -1.6 per cent, green bean -0.7 per cent, bush lime -8.3 per cent and non-alcoholic beverages -0.3 per cent to result in the slight rise of the overall food index,” Mr. Kimi stated.

Graph shows the Honiara annual headline and underlying inflation rates from April 2015 to April 2018.

Other major changes in other sub-indexes include;

  • Drinks and Tobacco fell 6.7 per cent driven by a 1.6 per cent and 20.3 per cent price drop in tobacco and betel nut, respectively.
  • Clothing and Footwear fell 0.2 per cent on account of a 3.1 per cent drop in footwear prices.
  • Housing and Utilities went up 0.8 per cent largely driven by a 3.5 per cent increase in electricity charges.
  • Household Operations dropped 0.2 per cent driven by price falls in household cleaning products, notably soap.
  • Miscellaneous Items fell 1.4 per cent resulting from drops in the prices of toiletries.

Mr. Kimi said apart from the above, price movements elsewhere in the consumption basket were negligible.

“The main underlying rates of inflation based on a 3 months moving average for the month of April 2018 were observed between 0.0 per cent and 2.9 per cent while the headline inflation rate was at 3.9 per cent,” he said