Inflation rate falls, April CPI shows
The rate of inflation has fallen year-over-year, the April Consumer Price Index (CPI) released this afternoon showed.
Last year inflation was assessed at 2.1 percent, while this year it is .4 percent lower at 1.7 percent.
The major contributor to inflation during the period was health and personal care, which increased 8.4 percent, primarily because of the rise in health insurance premiums which came into effect in April. The food and education, recreation and reading sectors also impacted strongly on the annual rate of inflation, advancing by 3.6 percent and 3.0 percent respectively, according to the monthly report.
Inflation — rising prices resulting in the diminishing purchasing power of a given sum of money — is determined by comparing baskets of goods and services included in the Consumer Price Index.
Between March 2013 and April 2013, the average cost of goods and services in the CPI rose 0.5 percent. The all-items index increased from 120.9 to 121.5 index points in April. This means that the basket of goods and services that cost $100 in April 2006 now cost $121.50.
Some month-to-month sector highlights in the April report include a rise in health and personal care of 6.3 percent in April, following a 0.1 percent increase in March. On average, health insurance premiums rose by 9.8 percent.
The food sector increased 0.4 percent for the second month in a row. Fresh fruit rose 6.5 percent, all types of pork went up 5.9 percent, and spices rose 5.7 percent.
The tobacco and liquor sector rose 1.7 percent in April, reflecting a 10 percent increase import duty. Cigarettes and spirits increased by 2.3 percent and 4.4 percent, respectively.
Average prices in the clothing and footwear sector were higher by 0.8 percent, and fuel and power recorded no movement during April.
While education, recreation and reading was a major riser year over year, month-over-month it was unchanged, as it was in both March and February.
Rent dropped 0.3 percent in April, while rental units subject to rent control increased by 0.1 percent. Properties not subject to rent control, impacted the rate, declining 0.9 percent.
The average land tax bill for residential properties rose by 7.1 percent because of the increase in the tax rate applying to the portion of annual rental value above $90,000.