September Consumer Price Index shows increase in retail prices
-Bureau of Statistics

Stabroek News
October 29, 2002

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The Bureau of Statistics here says it has recorded an upward movement in prices in the consumer items monitored in the Urban (Georgetown) Consumer Price Index (CPI) basket of goods and services last month.

This was reflected in an increase in the price index value from 173.3 in August to 173.6 in September this year, the Bureau said in a release.

It pointed out also that "resulting from this increase in the index value, a 0.2% increase in retail prices was observed for September 2002 and a 4.9% year-to-date inflation rate. On an annual basis, that is when comparing September 2001 to September 2002, the Georgetown index rose by 5.9%."

And last month, the 0.2% increase in retail prices resulted primarily from an increase in the food group by 0.5%.

According to the Bureau, this follows upward price movements in the sub-categories condiments and spices by 2.0%, cereals and cereal products, pulses and pulse products and oil and fats each by 1.3%, meat, fish and eggs by 0.6%, milk and milk products by 0.3% and vegetable and vegetable products by 3.3%.

However, the Bureau noted, there were counterbalancing declines in the sub-categories fruits and fruit products by 9.9%, sugar, honey and related products by 0.3% and alcoholic beverages and prepared meals each by 0.1%, which effectively restrained the level of increase in the food group to the recorded 0.5%. Additionally, there were increases in the processing of goods and services outside of the food group. The retail prices of the housing group increased by 0.4% of which the sub-category fuel and power (electricity) rose by 1.3%. There was also an increase in the furniture items by 0.2% of which the sub-category cleaning materials increased by 0.5%.

Meanwhile, the increase in the sub-category medical expenses by 0.3% resulted in an overall hike in medical and personal care costs by 0.2%; but these increases were counterbalanced by declines in costs in the transport and communication group and education, recreation and cultural services by 0.4% and 2.9% respectively, the Bureau added.