Inflation jumps in August on health and overseas travel costs
The annual rate of inflation shot up more than three percent in August as consumers paid more for their healthcare and overseas travel.
Hotel rooms overseas cost 14.6 percent more in August and airfares rose 4.4 percent.
The monthly report from Government said consumers paid 3.1 percent more in August than they did a year ago for the basket of goods and services included in the Consumer Price Index.
The rate of inflation increased from the 2.5 percent measured in July 2012.
The report said the transport and vehicle sector was the largest contributor to the 12-month increase in the CPI, rising 4.1 percent.
Notable increases in the cost of overseas travel and fuel prices led to the 8.7 percent increase over the year.
The health and personal care and food sectors also impacted strongly on the annual rate of inflation, as price shifts in these sectors were 5.8 percent and 3.0 percent, respectively.
Month to month, the food sector increased 0.6 percent in August from July. Notable price changes were observed for frozen spare ribs (+8.5 percent), mayonnaise (+7.6 percent) and bacon (+6.7 percent).
In the rent sector, prices for rent-controlled properties increased 0.1 percent. In addition, the average cost of building materials factored into house repairs and maintenance, increased 3.6 percent. As a result, the rent sector edged up 0.3 percent for the month.
The health and personal care sector increased 0.1 percent in August. The rate of price increase for self-prescribed medicines and household over-the-counter medical supplies increased 0.8 percent.
The household goods, services and communications sector rose 0.1 percent as consumers paid higher prices for legal services as lawyers fees increased 3.4 percent.
The tobacco and liquor sector advanced 0.1 percent. Increased costs were recorded for the average price of spirits (+0.4 percent).
The clothing and footwear sector was static in August.
The education, recreation and reading sector slipped 0.1 percent for the month. The decrease reflected a 4.2 percent drop in the average price of toys and games. In contrast, the price of boat fuel increased by 3.6 percent.
The fuel and power sector fell 1.8 percent in August. The fuel adjustment rate for residential electricity decreased by 3.7 percent between July and August.
Consumers paid 1.8 percent less for electricity usage.
Between July 2012 and August 2012, the average cost of goods and services in the Consumer Price Index rose 0.6 percent. The all-items index increased to 120.5 index points in August. This means that the basket of goods and services that cost $100.00 in April 2006 now costs $120.50.
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