Consumer Price Index Press Release March 2020

St. John’s, Antigua, 27 July 2020. The Statistics Division under the Ministry of Finance and Corporate Governance releases the monthly CPI (Consumer Price Index) for March 2020.

Year-on-Year Analysis

The All Items Consumer Price Index rose 1.3% for the twelve months ending March 2020. The Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages index increased 3.9% over the last twelve months.

The Food index increased 3.9% for the past twelve months. The major grocery store food groups reflected a mixture of increases and declines. Vegetable price increase by 14.6%, the most of any food group. Also rising were the indexes for Meat and Meat Products (+ 5.3%) and Food Products Not Elsewhere Classified (+ 3.3%). These increases were offset by declines in the indexes for Fruit (-8.1%), Oils and Fats (-1.9%) and Sugars, Jams, Honey, Chocolate and Confectionery (-1.2%).

The Non-Alcoholic Beverages index rose 3.5% resulting from average price increases for Coffee, Tea, Cocoa and Fruit and Vegetable Juices.

The index for All Items Less Food and Energy rose 0.8 % over the past twelve months. The Alcoholic Drink and Tobacco index increased 1.9% and the index for Transport rose 0.2%.

Month-to-Month Price Changes

The monthly Consumer Price Index for March 2020 declined by 0.9%. The Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages index fell 1.2%. The Food Index decreased by 1.4%. An 8.1% decline in the index for Fruits was the largest change to the monthly Food index. The index for Vegetables fell 2.5% and the index for Meats and Meat Products decreased by 2.0% over the one month span.

Although the overall Food index declined some food sub indexes increased. The index for Food Products Not Elsewhere Classified rose 2.0% while Fish and Seafood prices increased by 1.5%.

The index for All Items Less Food and Energy decreased by 0.9% in March 2020. The index for Transport fell 4.1% led by a 10.5% drop in prices for Transport Services. The index for Alcoholic Beverages, Tobacco and Narcotics fell 1.6% and the index for Furnishings, Household Equipment and Routine Household Maintenance decreased by 0.2%.

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What is the consumer price index (CPI) measuring and how is it done?

The All Items Consumer Price Index (CPI) is the main measure of what is commonly called inflation, or headline inflation. It measures the change in prices, on average, from month to month, and from year to year of the goods and services bought by most households.

Prices are collected monthly and quarterly from supermarkets and other suppliers of goods and services. The pattern of household expenditure on these goods and services is derived from a regular household budget (or expenditure) survey (HBS). The prices and spending patterns (known as weights) are then combined to calculate the price indices for groups of goods and services and for the All Items index. These indices are based on expenditure patterns in 2006.

The All Items (or overall) index, with all of its eleven (11) component indices, is published each month.

Copies of the CPI for Dec 2019 can be accessed on the Division’s official website

2019 Monthly CPI Press Releases for October and November:

Monthly CPI Press Realease January 2020 (PDF – 103 KB)

Monthly CPI Press Realease February 2020 (PDF – 104 KB)

2019 Monthly CPI Publications for October to December:

Monthly CPI March 2020 (PDF – 318 KB)

Monthly CPI February 2020 (PDF – 317 KB)

Monthly CPI January 2020 (PDF – 317 KB)