Food Prices Push August Inflation To 0.8%

Inflation for August was 0.8 percent pushed by higher agricultural prices and the minimum wage increase that took effect at the start of the month.

The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) said the All Jamaica Consumer Price Index (CPI) for August recorded an inflation rate of 0.8 per cent.

It said the upward movement in the August 2018 CPI was influenced by a 1.6 per cent increase, in the index for the ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ division. This was primarily due to higher prices for agricultural produce resulting in an increase of 6.0 per cent in the class ‘Vegetables and Starchy Foods’.

According to STATIN, also of note is the upward movement for the division ‘Furnishing, Household Equipment and Routine Household Maintenance’ as a result of the increase in minimum wage of approximately 13.0 percent. These increase were tempered by a reduction of 0.1 per cent in the index for the division ‘Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’, due to a fall in electricity rates.

The calendar year-to-date inflation was 1.6 per cent while the movement in the index for the fiscal year-to-date was 1.9 per cent and the point-to-point movement was 3.9 per cent.

By Franklin McKnight

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