The National Bureau of Statistics has reported that Inflation Rate for the month of December was 9.55% (9.37% in November). This is the highest since December 2012 when it was 12.98%. The highest since then was 9.54% in February 2013.
According to the Bureau, the increase in the Headline index was driven in part by higher prices within key divisions which contribute to the index. In particular, imported food items within the Food & Non Alcoholic Beverages Divisions; Alcoholic Beverage, Tobacco and Kola; Clothing and Footwear and Transportation (as a result of intermittent PMS supply shortages) divisions all impacted the index.
The Bureau also revealed Food prices recorded significant pressures in December. Here is a further breakdown
- The Food sub-index increased to 10.6% (yearon-year) during the month, 0.3% points from rates recorded in November.
- All major food groups which contribute to the Food subindex increased at a faster pace during the month with the exception of the Milk, Cheese and Eggs group.
- Increases in the “All Items less Farm Produce” or Core sub-index rose at the same rate for the third consecutive month at 8.7%.
- The Core sub-index was weighted upon by slower increases in major divisions as Housing Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels; and Furnishings & Household Equipment Maintenance continue to weigh on the index.
- On a month-on-month basis, the Headline Index increased at a faster pace for a second consecutive month. The index increased by 1.0%, 0.3% points higher from 0.7% in November. All indices which contribute to the Headline index increased at a faster
Some analysts had expected a higher inflation rate considering the rise in the price of dollars. However, the Statistician General explained that rather than increase inflation the cash crunch in the economy meant that there were too few cash chasing good and services thus the modest rise in inflation rate.