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Food inflation remains above 10%, says CPI

Food prices have soared by more than 10 per cent in a year (File photograph)

The price of food has risen by more than 10 per cent for the fourth month in a row, latest year-on-year figures show.

The increase was the largest factor in driving up the Consumer Price Index, the measurement of the cost of a basket of selected goods and services, by 4.1 per cent in the year to December — a rise from the 3.8 per cent level recorded in November.

December’s figures, released yesterday, show an increase in food prices of 10.3 per cent year-on-year, with lettuce going up 59 per cent, pasta 57 per cent, eggs 56.6 per cent and cooking oil 51.5 per cent year-on-year.

The rise in food prices is almost the same as the 10.4 per cent hike recorded in the year to November, compared with November in 2021.

This compares with cost rises in the food sector of 10 per cent in October, 10.6 per cent in September and 9.5 per cent recorded in August, year-on-year.

However, the latest figures show that there were decreases in the price of frozen spare ribs, down 4.9 per cent, boneless pork loin, down 2.5 per cent and coffee, down 2.1 per cent, according to the Statistics Department, which is part of the Ministry of Economy and Labour.

The cost of health and personal care rose 3.3 per cent, with the price of self-prescribed medicines and household medical supplies increasing 7.1 per cent, while prescribed medications were up 0.5 per cent.

Prices for household goods, services and supplies increased 4.3 per cent, with the average cost of cellular telephone subscriptions up 2.8 per cent and landline telephone charges 1.8 per cent higher.

There was a rise of 6.4 per cent in prices for transport and foreign travel sector.

The cost of overseas accommodation soared 25.9 per cent, airfares went up 5.4 per cent, premium fuel 6.7 per cent and mixed fuel 6.3 per cent.

In the education, recreation, entertainment and reading sector, the annual rate of inflation rose 4 per cent, with the cost of pet care up 4 per cent and magazines up 2.2 per cent.

Between November and December 2022, the average cost of goods and services in the CPI increased 0.2 per cent.

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Published March 17, 2023 at 8:11 am (Updated March 17, 2023 at 8:46 am)

Food inflation remains above 10%, says CPI

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