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Power price plunge dampens inflation rate

Consumers paid 1.2 per cent more for goods and services in May than they did at the same time the previous year.

But the consumer price index dropped 0.2 per cent between April and May — despite an 8.5 per cent jump in the cost of healthcare.

Government statisticians, however, said the increase in the cost of health insurance, medical care and medicines was offset by a 10.7 per cent year-on-year fall in the cost of fuel and power.

And the level of inflation for May fell by 0.6 percentage points from the 1.8 per cent level recorded for April.

The food sector saw an increase of 0.4 per cent in May, with an 8.6 per cent hike in the price of locally-caught fresh wahoo, a 7.3 per cent increase in the cost of iceberg lettuce and a 6.7 per cent jump in the cost of cantaloupe cited as the reasons.

Rents rose by 0.1 per cent in May as average rental prices for rent-controlled properties logged a slight increase.

The fuel and power sector fell 2.6 per cent in May, with consumers paying 2.7 per cent less for electricity due to an eight per cent fall in the fuel adjustment rate.

The cost of transport and vehicles fell by one per cent in May after a 0.4 per cent increase in April.

The average cost of airfares fell by 8.8 per cent, while the average price of premium fuel went up by 4.3 per cent.

The cost of tobacco and liquor was unchanged month on month, although the price of spirits rose by 0.2 per cent.

The cost of a round of golf and tennis matches fell by 10.2 per cent, although a 1.7 per cent increase in the cost of TVs and a 1.6 per cent increase in the cost of boat repairs and maintenance meant the education, recreation entertainment and reading sector remained static in May.