Consumer Price Index increases by 1.6pc

Azlan Othman

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) in March 2020 increased by 1.6 per cent year-on-year compared to March last year. Prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages increased by 1.1 per cent following the increase in prices of meat (2.1 per cent); milk, dairy products and eggs (1.6 per cent); vegetables (19.9 per cent) as well as other food products (1.4 per cent).
Meanwhile, non-food prices increased by 1.8 per cent.

The CPI increase was largely attributed to increases in the prices and costs of miscellaneous goods and services (10.9 per cent) following the increase in prices of other appliances, articles and products for personal care; jewellery, clocks and watches; other personal effects; insurance; other services as well as community and family services.

Restaurants and hotels increased by 4.8 per cent due to the increase in prices of selected food items in restaurants, cafes, fast-food outlets as well as other food services; and food and non-alcoholic beverages (1.1 per cent) due to increased prices of meat (2.1 per cent); milk, dairy products and eggs (1.6 per cent); vegetables (19.9 per cent) as well as other food products (1.4 per cent).

However, this was moderated by the decrease in price of transport (0.9 per cent) due to lower prices of purchase of motor cars, bicycles, spare parts and accessories of vehicles as well as fuel and lubricants for vehicles; communication (1.2 per cent) due to decreased prices of telephone and telefax equipment as well as telephone and telefax services; and clothing and footwear (0.7 per cent) due to decrease in prices of garments.

Prices of miscellaneous goods and services increased mainly due to a rise in prices of insurance. Meanwhile, the increase in the prices of restaurant and hotels was due to an increase in the price of catering services. The increase in food and non-alcoholic beverages was due to a rise in prices of vegetables.

On a month-on-month basis, the CPI in March 2020 increased by 0.3 per cent compared to January 2020. The Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages Index and the Non-Food Index have both increased by 0.1 per cent and 0.4 per cent.

The CPI is a measure of price changes of goods and services paid by the consumer in a specified period and compiled on a monthly basis. The list of goods and services in the CPI is based on the average expenditure per household from the Household Expenditure Survey (HES). The CPI full report for March 2020 is available from the Department of Economic Planning and Statistics (JPES) website www.deps.gov.bn.