People now pay more for food and soft drinks than in December 2021.
The retail price index for food and non-alcoholic beverages increased by 127.0% between December 2021 and 128.1% in January 2022, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) reported yesterday.
In a Retail Price Index (RPI) memorandum released yesterday, the CSO noted that the overall retail price index showed an increase of 0.7% for the month of January 2022.
He noted that the general upward movement in fresh curbstone prices had contributed significantly to this increase; milk powder-full cream; parboiled rice; White flour; kingfish–fresh; carrots; eddoes; snacks other chilled or frozen chicken (pieces); and cucumber.
However, the full impact of these price declines was offset by general reductions in tomato prices; pumpkin; chive; other fruit drinks (not orange); fresh beef; steak–fresh beef; non-alcoholic carbonated beverages; potatoes; apples; and salted pigtail.
The CSO’s review of January 2022 data versus December 2021 reflected increases in sub-indices for:
*2.0% for alcoholic beverages and tobacco;
*2.5% for communication (cell phones, telephones, internet and other similar services.)
*1.3% for housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels;
*1.1% for health;
*1.0% for hotels, cafes and restaurants;
*0.7% for furnishings, household equipment and routine home maintenance;
*0.7% Miscellaneous goods and services
*0.5% for transport;
*0.3 percent for clothing and footwear;
However, decreases were noted in the recreation and culture sub-indices of 2.7% and all other sections remained unchanged.
On Wednesday, the price of a basket of 118 basic food items increased by 9.7% between February 2020 and February 2022, according to a comprehensive assessment by the Consumer Affairs Division (CAD) of the Department of Trade and Industry (MTI).
The ministry pointed out that rising wheat prices will have a domino effect on the price of grain, animal feed, poultry and dairy products. And he said the two local flour producing houses were receiving stock and further shipments (at higher prices) were due to arrive. These companies will review over the next few months whether price increases may be necessary.
The ministry said its Consumer Affairs Division estimated that the price of flour at the local level increased by 16% over the period February 2020-February 2022.
“Other items that have increased over this period locally include vegetable oil and soybean oil (42%); corned beef (40%); poultry (29 percent); infant formula (26 percent); milk (20%); kidney beans (16%); salted fish (15%); rice (13%); and granulated sugar (11 percent).
The ministry said the following food items remained constant during the period from February 2020 to February 2022: powdered milk, biscuits, tea bags, mauby, baked beans, mayonnaise, dried pigeon peas, channa and salt.