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Inflation rate rises to 2.1%

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The inflation rate in Bermuda has risen for the first time in three months.

It rose 0.2 percentage points from the 1.9 percent measured in January 2013, as we paid more for health and personal care and food and transport in February, Government figures showed.

That’s the first increase since last November when inflation rose back to 1.9 percent from 1.7 in October. It had dropped to 1.9 percent in September, from 3.1 in August.

The all-items index increased from 120.3 to 120.6 index points in February. This means that a basket of goods and services that cost $100 in April 2006 now cost $120.60, Government stated.

On a year-over-year basis the Health & Personal Care sector was the largest contributor to the twelve-month increase in the Consumer Price Index.

The total cost of the Health & Personal Care basket increased 7.7 percent year-over-year.

The Food and Transport & Vehicles sectors also impacted strongly on the annual rate of inflation. The rate of price increase for these sectors measured 3.7 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively.

On a month-to-month basis, the combined increases in fuel prices (2.3 percent), airfares (4.0 percent) and overseas hotel accommodations (1.7 percent) led to a 1.3 percent rise in this sector.

The Fuel and Power sector rose 1.4 percent in February. Households paid 1.5 percent more for electricity. In contrast, the cost of a cylinder of propane gas fell by 0.7 percent.

The Rent sector rose fractionally by 0.1 percent in the month of February. Rental prices for properties under rent control increased by 0.1 percent.

On average, on a month-to-month basis, the cost of the food basket at the sector level remained the same in February. However items such as stewed tomatoes (+7.8 percent), fresh boneless pork loins (+7.2 percent) and frozen spare ribs (+6.0 percent) increased in price. These price increases were offset by declines in the price of red grapes (-5.8 percent), oranges (-4.0 percent) and salad dressings (-3.4 percent).

The Health & Personal Care sector was unchanged for the month.

The Clothing & Footwear sector was static in February. And there was no measured movement in the overall Education, Recreation & Reading sector despite price decreases in consumer electronics such as stereo systems (-2.8 percent), DVD players (-4.3 percent) and camcorders (-3.1 percent).

The Tobacco & Liquor sector fell 0.2 percent. This reflected a 0.2 percent decrease in the average price of beers, wines and spirits.

The Household Goods, Services & Communications sector was unchanged in February. However, consumers paid lower prices for washers and dryers and electrical tools, down 1.4 percent and 1.0 percent, respectively.

Rising cost: On a year-over-year basis the Health & Personal Care sector was the largest contributor to the 12-month increase in the Consumer Price Index.

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Published April 09, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated April 08, 2013 at 8:12 pm)

Inflation rate rises to 2.1%

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