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Consumer Price Index highlights slowing inflation rate

Inflation rate continues to slow: a graph of year-on-year percentage changes in costs of a basket of goods and services, from December 2021 to December 2023 (Image from the December Consumer Price Index)

Year-on-year costs continued to rise at the end of 2023, according to the latest figures from the Department of Statistics, although inflation slowed month to month.

While the December 2023 Consumer Price Index showed that consumers paid 2.4 per cent more for a basket of goods and services than a year prior, the rate of inflation fell from 3.1 per cent the previous month and the cost of some items fell.

The figures indicated that the cost of food was 2.9 per cent higher in December 2023 compared to December 2022, while the cost of rent rose by 2.7 per cent and health costs rose by 2.5 per cent.

Regarding the rising food costs, the report said: “The major contributors to the annual increase in the sector were the average cost of fresh fish [+11.9 per cent], sweet biscuits [+11.3 per cent] and baby food [+10.9 per cent].

“In contrast, the annual average price of lettuce [-37.3 per cent], eggs [-22.0 per cent] and fresh and frozen lamb legs [-10.1 per cent] declined.”

Costs for education, recreation, entertainment and reading rose by 3.6 per cent during the period, while the household goods, services and supplies sector rose by 1.6 per cent.

However, month to month figures showed the average costs of goods and services fell by 0.5 per cent between November and December 2023.

While foreign travel costs dropped by 5.1 per cent during the month, the cost of food fell by 0.2 per cent, as did education/entertainment costs and liquor/cigarette costs.

The report noted that with inflation, a basket of goods and services that cost $100 in April 2015 cost $116 as of December 2023.

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Published May 23, 2024 at 12:24 pm (Updated May 26, 2024 at 6:23 pm)

Consumer Price Index highlights slowing inflation rate

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