The Consumer Price Index (CPI) in February 2021 increased by 1.8 per cent year-on-year compared to February 2020. Prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages increased by 3.9 per cent. Meanwhile, non-food prices increased by 1.3 per cent.
The CPI increase was largely attributed to increases in the prices and costs of transport (7.7 per cent); food and non-alcoholic beverages (3.9 per cent); and communication (1.3 per cent). However, this was moderated by decreases in prices and costs of clothing and footwear (8.8 per cent); furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance (1.9 per cent); and miscellaneous goods and services (0.5 per cent).
The increase in prices of transport was mainly due to the rise in prices of motor vehicles followed by flight tickets.
Increase in food and non-alcoholic beverage prices was driven by the hike in food prices such as vegetables; chicken; as well as beef and buffalo meat. The increase in the price of vegetables was due to uncertain weather conditions. Meanwhile, the increase in the price of chicken, beef and buffalo meat was due to, among others, increased domestic demand following travel restrictions and limited import supply.
Furthermore, the rising cost of communication was due to telephone and telefax equipment, specifically new handphones being introduced in the market; and telephone and telefax services, specifically changes in the prices of communication service packages.
On a month-on-month basis, the CPI in February 2021 increased by 0.5 per cent compared to January 2021. The food and non-alcoholic beverages index increased by 0.7 per cent while the non-food index increased by 0.4 per cent.