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Inflation rate reaches highest point since 2007

Cost of living: Bermuda's annual rate of inflation rose to 3.7 per cent in May, including a 6.4 per cent increase in food costs. (Photograph by Mario Proenca/Bloomberg)

The cost of goods in Bermuda rose 3.7 per cent year on year, the largest increase in almost 15 years, according to the Government.

The increase was highlighted in the May 2022 Consumer Price Index report from the Department of Statistics, released by Jason Hayward, the Minister of Economy and Labour this afternoon.

Mr Hayward said that the increase represented the highest-recorded level of year-on-year inflation since December 2007, when the annual inflation rate was 3.6 per cent.

Food costs rose 6.4 per cent annually with notable increases in tenderloins (up 18.4 per cent), frozen entrées (up 11.4 per cent), fruit juices (up 10.8 per cent) and baby food (up 9.4 per cent).

Heathcare costs also rose with a 6 per cent increase in the cost of health insurance, a 2.4 per cent increase in prescription medicine and a 1.4 per cent increase in self-prescribed medicines and household medical supplies.

Premium and mixed fuel prices also rose at the pump by more than 7 per cent — reflecting rises in the price before petrol prices were frozen in February.

Mr Hayward said: “The transport and foreign travel sector continued to be the most significant contributor (up 8.4 per cent) to the 12-month increase in the CPI.

“On average, annual increases were reported in the cost of overseas hotel accommodations (up 51 per cent), airfares (up 12 per cent), premium fuels (up 7.5 per cent) and mixed fuels (up 7.1 per cent).”

Mr Hayward said that the education, recreation, entertainment and reading sectors also strongly impacted the annual inflation rate with a 5.3 per cent increase, noting a 25 per cent increase in the cost of newspapers and a 20 per cent increase in the price of pleasure boats.

“The household goods, services and supplies sector rose 2.9 per cent over the last 12 months,” Mr Hayward said.

“Dining room and bedroom furniture prices increased 44.7 per cent and 11.1 per cent, respectively.”

Mr Hayward said that the average cost of goods and services covered by the CPI increased 0.5 per cent between April 2022 and May 2022.

The single-month period included a 0.8 per cent increase in the food sector, with notable increases in the costs of cantaloupes (up 20.7 per cent), fruit juices (up 6.2 per cent), dry breakfast cereals (up 4 per cent) and soft drinks (up 1.6 per cent).

Meanwhile, the transport and foreign travel sector saw a 3.2 per cent increase over the month, fuelled by a 17.6 per cent increase in the cost of airfares.

The education, recreation, entertainment and reading sector saw a 0.3 per cent increase with rises in the cost of televisions (up 17.1 per cent), sporting fees (up 4.7 per cent), toys and games (up 2.8 per cent) and club membership subscriptions (up 2.6 per cent).

The May 2022 Consumer Price Index is available online at www.gov.bm/bermuda-business-statistics.

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Published August 11, 2022 at 8:29 am (Updated August 12, 2022 at 8:09 am)

Inflation rate reaches highest point since 2007

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