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Inflation rate creeps up to 1.9%

An increase in health and personal care costs helped to push the inflation rate up to 1.9 percent in November.

This marked an increase of 0.2 percentage points from October’s 1.7 percent rate, according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures released by the Department of Statistics today.

Year over year, health and personal care costs rose 7.5 percent, making the sector the biggest contributor to inflation.

Other significant 12-month increases were recorded in the transport and vehicle sector (up 4.5 percent) and in food prices (up 2.4 percent).

Liquor and tobacco prices 2.6 percent from November 2011, while education, recreation and reading rose three percent.

The increases were offset by a 4.2 percent fall in the cost of fuel and power and a 2.2 percent fall in clothing and footwear prices.

The CPI analysis showed that the greatest change in prices between October and November occurred in the fuel and power sector, down 7.8 percent. This was mostly due to a significant decrease in the fuel adjustment rate that appears on Belco bills, from 19 cents to 16 cents per kilowatt hour.

Motorists paid much less at the pump in November than in October, as gasoline prices fell 5.4 percent.

Food prices fell 0.4 percent month to month. Notable decreases came in the price of frozen spare ribs (down 4.7 percent), stewed tomatoes (down 3.8 percent) and fresh beef tenderloin (down 3.5 percent).

Between October and November 2012, the average cost of goods and services in the CPI fell 0.4 percent. The all-items index decreased from 120.9 in October, to 120.5 index points in November. This means that the basket of goods and services that cost $100 in April 2006 now cost $120.50.

Healthcare inflation: The health and personal care sector was the biggest driver in the increase in the cost of living in November.

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Published January 21, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated January 20, 2013 at 4:03 pm)

Inflation rate creeps up to 1.9%

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