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Inflation holds steady at 2.8%

Price pressure: Consumers paid 2.8 percent more for a range of goods in July than they did a year earlier. Food prices dropped, however.

The cost of living in Bermuda held steady in July, as food and clothing prices dropped and rents came down further.Consumers paid 2.8 percent more in July than they did a year ago for a basket of goods and services, according to the Statistics Department’s monthly report.The rate of inflation, though, was the same as it was in June. The clothing and footwear sector overall fell 0.3 percent month-to-month.The average cost of women’s and children’s clothing declined as much as 4.5 percent and 2.7 percent, but in the accessories sub-sector, “curb link” chains and jewellery increased 5.2% reflecting rising gold prices.The Island’s Rent sector slipped 0.1 percent. The decrease was attributed to a 0.1 percent fall in the average rent for units not subject to rent control. Controlled properties recorded no change for the month.In the Food sector, prices dipped 0.2 percent in July as residents paid significantly less for such items as red grapes (-9.2 percent), stewing beef (-6.4 percent), and butter (-5.2 percent).Transport and vehicles sector prices rose 1.1 percent on average as increases in hotel accommodation rates (+6.7 percent), and cycle repair & maintenance cost (+3.6 percent) were partially offset by a 3.2 percent drop in the cost of mix fuel.The fuel and power sector increased 1.8 percent in July. Residential electricity costs rose by 1.9 percent in response to a 3.9 percent jump in the fuel adjustment rate.Consumers also paid more for outside recreational activities in July as the combined cost of boat fuel and sports admission fees increased 3.2 percent.Price movement in this sub-sector pushed the Education, Recreation and Reading sector up 0.4 percent.The Tobacco & Liquor sector rose 0.6 percent reflecting increases in the average price of spirits (+1.4 percent) and wines (+0.1 percent).The household goods, services and communications sector increased 0.1 percent for the month. The cost of funeral services rose by 1.7 percent. Additionally, consumers paid more for cleaning materials, food wraps and trash bags (+2.3 percent).The health and personal care rose 0.1 percent in July. This increase was due to a 0.9 percent rise in the cost of self-prescribed medicines and household medical supplies.The health and personal care sector continued to be the largest contributor to the 12-month increase in the Consumer Price Index, rising on average 7.5 percent year-over-year.The household goods, services and communications and the fuel and power sectors also impacted strongly on the annual rate of inflation, as price shifts in these sectors were 2.9 percent and 13 percent.For historic comparison, a basket of goods and services that cost $100 in April 2006 now costs $116.90.