The falling transport index continued to pull down the Consumer Price Index (CPI) with the latest data showing that year-on-year inflation numbers went down significantly in the month of January.
According to the monthly Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures released Monday, the national year-on-year inflation rate stood at 12.8 percent, down by 0.9 of a percentage point from 13.7 percent in December 2008.
Government Chief Statistician Anna Majelantle noted that the transport group index went down by 5.6 percent from 113.8 to 107.5 between December 2008 and January 2009.
The movement in the transport index was largely due to the decrease in the constituent section indices of Transport Services (12.9 percent) and Operation of Personal Transport (6.4 percent).
“The decrease in Transport Services section index was attributed to the fall in Bus and Taxi Fares that were effected on 24 December, 2008. The Operation of Personal Transport section index registered a drop due to a fall in retail pump prices for both diesel and petrol by P0.50 each, which was effected in January 2009,” Majelantle.
However, there were upsets in Alcoholic Beverages, Tobacco & Narcotics, which jumped up 4.9 percent, Health surged up 3.9 percent, Education rose up 3.4 percent, Restaurants & Hotels increased 2.7 percent and Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages moved up marginally to 1.1 percent.
Alcoholic Beverages, Tobacco & Narcotics group index registered an increase of 4.9 percent from 152.2 in December to 159.7 in January.
This was mainly due to the increase in the constituent section index of Alcoholic Beverages which increased by 5.4 percent.
The Health group index recorded an increase of 3.9 percent, from 118.6 in December 2008 to 123.3 in January 2009.
The rise was a result of the constituent section indices of Hospital Services (6.0 percent) and Out-patient Services (1.2 percent).
The Education index group moved from 109.9 to 113.7, registering an increase of 3.4 percent between December 2008 and January 2009.
“The rise was due to an increase in the constituent section index of Pre-Primary & Primary which increased by 10.5 percent. The rise was mainly attributed to the increase in the pre-primary and primary education school fees,” stated Majelantle.
The Restaurants & Hotels index group moved from 139.7 to 143.5, registering an increase of 2.7 percent between December 2008 and January 2009. The rise was due to a general increase in the constituent section index of Restaurants, Cafes and the Like, which increased by 2.9 percent.
The Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages index group moved from 144.2 to 145.8, registering an increase of 1.1 percent between December 2008 and January 2009.
The rise was due to a general increase in the constituent section indices notably Vegetables (6.1 percent), Coffee, Tea & Cocoa (2.3 percent) and Meat (Fresh, Chilled & Frozen)- (2.1) percent.
The Transport group index went down by 5.6 percent from 113.8 to 107.5 between December 2008 and January 2009.
Meanwhile, the CSO stated that the cities & towns’ inflation rate dropped by 1.4 percentage points from 12.9 percent in December 2008 to 11.5 percent in January 2009.
On the other hand, the urban villages’ inflation rate went down by 0.8 of a percentage point from 13.3 percent to 12.5 percent.
The rural villages’ inflation rate fell to 16.3 percent from 16.7 percent between the two periods.
The January 2009 national Consumer Price Index was at 123.8, an increase of 0.1 percent on the December index of 123.7 in 2008.
The rural villages’ index increased by 0.6 percent – from 128.5 to 129.3 between the two months. The urban villages’ index stood at 123.9 in January 2009, an increase of 0.4 percent on the December 2008 index of 123.4.