Inflation rate edges down to 2.7% in December
The annual rate of inflation declined slightly in December as a drop in fuel prices compared to November pushed down prices in the transport and foreign travel sector.
Also falling by marginal amounts were the tobacco and liquor sector of the Consumer Price Index, as well as the health and personal care sector.
All other sectors were unchanged or edged up.
This news came as Jason Hayward, the Minister of Economy and Labour, released the December 2021 CPI figures from the Department of Statistics.
He said the figures pegged the annual rate of inflation at 2.7 per cent for the year to December, just down from 2.8 per cent for the year to November.
Mr Hayward said: “In December 2021, consumers paid 2.7 per cent more than they did in December 2020 for the basket of goods and services.”
He added, “The transport and foreign travel sector continued to be the largest contributor (+12.0 per cent) to the 12-month increase in the CPI.
“On average, annual increases were reported in the cost of premium fuels (+11.5 per cent), mixed fuels (+10.8 per cent) and cars (+1.1 per cent).
“The food sector and the health and personal care sector also impacted strongly on the annual rate of inflation, as price increases in these sectors were 3.8 per cent and 3.2 per cent, respectively.”
Mr Hayward also said: “Between November 2021 and December 2021, the average cost of goods and services decreased 0.2 per cent.”
The ministry statement added: “Additional areas of note between November and December 2021 are as follows:
• The price of premium fuels fell 2.2 per cent. As a result, the transport and foreign travel sector declined 1.4 per cent.
• The tobacco and liquor sector declined 0.3 per cent for the month as the average price of wines dipped 0.9 per cent.
• The health and personal care sector fell 0.1 per cent in December. Decreases were reported in the average cost of toiletries, cosmetics and perfumes (-0.8 per cent) and self-prescribed medicines and household medical supplies (-0.6 per cent).
The minister explained: “The 2021 annual average inflation rate was 1.5 per cent, up from the 0.0 per cent annual average inflation rate of 2020.
“The sectors that primarily influenced the increase in the 2021 annual average were transport and foreign travel (+6.4 per cent); health and personal care (+2.3 per cent); education, recreation, entertainment and reading (+2.0 per cent); and household goods, services and supplies (+1.7 per cent).”
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