CPI Rises to 8.4% in Feb '15 as Predicted; Food Prices Increase Driven by Imported Food Items

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015 10:15 AM / National Bureau of Statistics

 

ALL ITEMS INDEXIn February, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) which measures inflation rose by 8.4 percent (year-on-year), 0.2 percentage points from 8.2 percent recorded in January. All major CIOCOP divisions that contribute to the index increased at a faster pace during the period, the only exception being Recreational and Culture Division which increased at a slower pace.

 

The faster pace in Divisions that yield the Headline Index was also evidenced in both the Food and Core sub-indices. Food prices as observed by the Food Sub-index increased at a faster pace in February partly driven by increases in prices of imported food items.

 

The Imported Food sub-index increased by 8.8 percent (year-on-year), the highest increase recorded since February 2013. The Food sub-index rose by 9.4 percent (year-on-year), 0.2 percentage points from January. By groups, while most groups that contribute to the Food sub-index increased at a faster pace during the month, the pace of increase in the Food Sub-index was weighed upon by a slower increase in the Bread and Cereals group.

 

The pace of advances recorded by the “All Items less Farm Produce” or Core sub-index increased for the second consecutive month in February. The Core Sub-index increased by 7.0 percent year-onyear, 0.2 percentage points from 6.8 percent recorded in January.

 

Prices increased at a faster pace in most major non-food divisions except for the Recreational and Culture Division which increased at a slower pace It should be noted that the Headline Index is made up of the Core Index and Farm Produce items. As Processed Foods are included in both the Core and Food sub-indices, this implies that these sub-indices are not mutually-exclusive.

 

After increasing at the same pace on a month-on-month basis for the previous two months; 0.8 percent, the Headline Index increased at a marginally slower pace in February; by 0.7 percent. The pace of price increases slowed in Food and most other non-food divisions with the faster prices observed in the “Alcoholic Beverages, Tobacco and Kola” and Communication divisions.

 

Year-on-year, the Urban index increased at a faster pace for the second consecutive month, increasing by 8.4 percent in February, 0.2 percentage points from January. During the period, Rural prices also increased by 0.2 percentage points from January to 8.3 percent in February. On a monthon-month basis, both the Urban and Rural indices increased at a marginally slower pace in February; 0.7 percent.

 

The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the twelve-month period ending in February over the average of the CPI for the previous twelve-month period was 8.1 percent, holding at the same rate for two consecutive months.

 

The corresponding 12-month year-on-year average percentage change for the Urban index was unchanged at 8.2 percent in February, while the corresponding Rural index increased marginally to 8.0 percent.

  

FOOD INDEX
After increasing at the same pace (year-on-year) for the previous two months (9.2 percent), food prices as measured by the Food sub-index increased at a faster pace in February; increasing by 9.4 percent. On a month-on-month basis, food prices increased at a slower rate in February relative to January.

 

Food prices increased by 0.7 percent, down from 0.9 percent. Price increases slowed across most groups that contribute to the Food sub-index with the exception being the Fish group. On a month-on-month basis, the highest price increases were recorded in the Fish, Meat, Vegetables and “Potatoes, Yams and Other Tubers” groups.

 

The average annual rate of change of the Food sub-index for the twelve-month period ending in February 2015 over the previous twelve month average was 9.5 percent. The twelve month rate of change has held steady for nine consecutive months.

 

ALL ITEMS LESS FARM PRODUCE
The pace of increases in the “All items less Farm Produce” or Core index, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce strengthened further in February. Prices rose by 7.0 percent (year-on-year), up from 6.8 percent in January with the strongest increases recorded in the “Furnishings & Household Equipment Maintenance” and “Restaurant & Hotels” divisions On a month-on-month basis, the Core Sub-index increased at the same pace for the second consecutive month at 0.7 percent.

 

The highest increases were recorded in the “Appliances, articles and products for personal care”, and “Fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment” groups amongst others. The average 12 month annual rate of rise of the index was recorded at 6.9 percent for the twelve-month period ending in February 2015, unchanged from the 12 month rate recorded in January.

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