Consumer Price Index in SXM gradually increasing says STAT

Food, beverages and tobacco, housing, medical care and recreation and education were the areas that recorded price increases in a three-month span on St. Maarten between February and April 2017. The Department of Statistics disclosed in data on Thursday that the Consumer Price Index for St. Maarten increased in the month of April 2017 by 0.5 percent compared to that of February 2017. When comparing average consumer prices over a twelve month period (April 2016 to April 2017) an inflation rate of 1.0% is recorded.  According to STAT, over the last three years, consumer prices have shown some volatility, but seem to be gradually increasing.
The 12-month average of consumer prices in April 2017 is 1.0%. This represents an increase of 3 percentage points when compared to average prices in the same period last year. There are nine Household Expenditure Categories used to calculate the CPI. Three of these account for 69% of the total household expenditure: Housing (39%), Transportation & Communication (20%) and Food (10%).
“Analysis of the monthly figures of these categories showed that inflation has steadily decreased in the Food category and deflation has been maintained in the Transport & Communication category. It should be highlighted that the average price development in the Housing category during the last four months have recorded inflation,” STAT said in its report.
Regarding April 2017, STAT disclosed that six of the nine expenditure categories recorded prices increase, one decreased and two remained stable. Prices increases were recorded in: ‘Food’ (+1.6%), ‘Beverages and Tobacco’ (+1.9%), ‘Housing’ (+0.6%), ‘Medical Care’ (+0.8%), ‘Recreation & Education’ (+0.2%) and ‘Miscellaneous’ (+0.2%). Whereas, a decrease was recorded for the expenditure category ‘Transport & Communication’ (-0.7%). The expenditure categories: ‘Clothing & Footwear’ and ‘Household Furnishing & Appliances’ remained constant.
STAT further disclosed that in the Food category, eight of the nine sub groups became more expensive, while one was less expensive. The following groups recorded increases: Grain (+0.8%), Meat and Fish (+3.2%), Fats & Oils (+1.3%), Potatoes, Vegetables and Fruits (+1.6%), Sugar and Chocolate (+1.6%), Pre-cooked Dishes (+3.2%), Eating-out (+1.1%) and Other Food Resources (+1.2%), while Dairy Products (-0.2%) became cheaper.
More specifically, certain products within the Food subgroups largely influenced the total price change of the Food category. Hence, the group ‘Grain’ was influenced by grain snacks (+11.8%) and whole wheat bread & rye bread (+8%). The group ‘Meat & Fish’ was impacted most by: beef (+28.7%), other poultry (-18.6%), pork meat (+7.8%), fish (+5.8%), spareribs (+4%), other fish n.e.c2
(+2.6%), chicken & chicken organs (+2.3%) and pork chops (+1.7%). The largest influence of the ‘Dairy Products’ was cheese (-1.8%).
The price change of the subgroup ‘Potatoes, Vegetables and Fruits’ was largely due to: leafy greens (+30.1%), sweet peppers (+14.7%), spices (+11.1%), fresh fruit (-8.4%), grapes and prunes (+8.1%), potatoes (6.3%), apples and pears (-5.6%), tomatoes (-4.5%), raisins (-3%), other fresh vegetables (-3%), and cabbage (-2.4%).
STAT further disclosed that within the Housing category, it was noted that four of the five product groups became more expensive and one remained stable. The product groups: ‘Energy Expenses’, ‘Maintenance of dwelling’, ‘Garden maintenance’ and ‘Dwelling costs’ increased by +1.2%, +0.5%, +1.0% and +0.4% respectively.
An increase in the consumer price of electricity by 1.3% largely influenced the total price change within the product group ‘Energy expenses,’ while ‘Maintenance of dwelling’ was impacted most by pest control (-9.9%) and paint (+3.4%). The cost of soil and compost for gardening also increased (+14.3%), thus affecting the group ‘Garden maintenance.’

Source: TODAY