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Inflation rate reaches ten-year high at 3.5%

Inflation rose 3.5 per cent in April, the highest rate since April 2012.

Inflation rose to 3.5 per cent in April, according to government figures released yesterday.

However, prices of some goods and services went up as much as 25 per cent, with the increase in the fuel adjustment clause — 21.4 per cent — propelling the fuel and power sector to rise 9.2 per cent in one month.

Year on year, basic commodities such as bread rose by more than 8 per cent and potatoes by almost 25 per cent.

Jason Hayward, the Minister of Economy and Labour, said: “In April 2022, consumers paid 3.5 per cent more than they did a year ago for the same basket of goods and services.

“This was the highest recorded level of inflation since August 2012, when the annual inflation rate was 3.1 per cent.”

On average, annual increases were reported in the cost of overseas hotel accommodation (up 69.6 per cent), premium fuels (up 9.1 per cent), mixed fuels (up 8.6 per cent), and cars, which increased in price by 1.5 per cent.

“The food sector increased 5.4 per cent year over year,” the minister added. The price of potatoes increased 24.4 per cent, tenderloin steak went up 21.7 per cent, pineapples 17.6 per cent and bread 8.3 per cent.

The education, recreation and reading sector saw a 5 per cent increase year over year with the average cost of the local newspaper climbing 25 per cent and the average price of pleasure boats increasing 20 per cent.

Year over year, the health and personal care sector was up 4.3 per cent as the average cost of health insurance premiums rose 6 per cent; toiletries, cosmetics and perfumes prices rose 3.5 per cent; and prescription medicines went up 2.4 per cent.

Clothing and footwear prices rose 1.5 per cent year on year as the average cost of women’s sweaters, jewellery and men’s shirts rose 16 per cent, 7.3 per cent and 5.1 per cent, respectively.

Price rises between March and April 2022 include:

• The increase in the fuel adjustment clause of 21.4 per cent, which propelled the fuel and power sector to jump 9.2 per cent for the month.

• The health and personal care sector rising 2.2 per cent as the average cost of health insurance premiums increased 2.8 per cent.

• The household goods, services and supplies sector increasing 2 per cent in April. On average, price increases were reported for dining room furniture, which rose 29.8 per cent, television service subscriptions (up 9.6 per cent) and bedroom furniture (up 8.3 per cent).

• The food sector inching up 0.4 per cent in April. Increases were reported in the average cost of green peppers of 21.1 per cent, eggs went up 12.3 per cent, lettuce 9.1 per cent, ice cream 4.4 per cent and baby food 2.9 per cent.

Supermarkets said recently that the price of food was set to rise by about 8 per cent as Covid stockpiles ran out and charities have warned that people are having to make tough choices over which food to buy.

Earlier this month Belco warned of price rises after it was given permission to increase its charges.

The Government said that each month it measures the annual rate of inflation and the monthly rate of inflation — annual rates are changes from the same month last year, and monthly rates are the changes from the previous month. The April 2022 Consumer Price Index is available online at www.gov.bm/bermuda-business-statistics.

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Published July 16, 2022 at 7:56 am (Updated July 16, 2022 at 9:29 am)

Inflation rate reaches ten-year high at 3.5%

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