Inflation declines to -1.6 per cent
The average annual inflation rate fell to negative 1.6 per cent last December last year, a drop from 1 per cent the year prior, new Samoa Bureau of Statistics data shows.
The bureau’s “Consumer Price Index December 2020” report also shows a major decline in the year-on-year measure of the average price of goods and services.
The Consumer Price Index (C.P.I.), which measures changes in consumer prices by comparing the cost of an average selection of goods, edged slightly higher on a monthly basis.
It increased by 0.2 per cent from November to December, the statistics bureau report showed.
The rise in prices on a monthly basis was mainly driven by the increasing cost of medicine, which rose by 3 per cent in December.
“The 3.0 percent increase in the Health index influenced by the higher prices recorded for medicine (amoxicillin tablets),” the stats bureau stated.
Amoxicillin is a form of antibiotic.
But despite the monthly rise, on an annualised basis, the national C.P.I. had fallen by 5 per cent in December when compared to the year prior.
The C.P.I. measures price changes to samples of various sectors of goods and services - or indexes - designed to provide an overall picture of changes to the economy.
Imported goods rose in price by 0.3 per cent from the month prior, driven by higher prices for imported food, kerosene, medicine and hair gel.
Local goods also rose 0.1 per cent from the previous month.
The Miscellaneous Goods and Services index registered an increase of 0.6 per cent, while food and non alcoholic beverages, furnishing, household equipment and maintenance and housing, water, electricity gas and other fuel indices showed increases of 0.5, 0.3 and 0.2 per cent respectively.
Decreases were also recorded for other divisions, namely alcoholic beverages and tobacco with 0.4 per cent and clothing and footwear 0.4 per cent.
There were no changes recorded for transport, communication, recreation and culture, education and restaurants indices.
The price index registered an increase of 0.3 per cent when compared to the previous month. This increase was mainly due to higher prices recorded for canned fish (natural oil), turkey wings, kerosene, medicine and hair gel.
Increased prices were also recorded for fresh fish (piece and large), Chinese cabbage, koko samoa, tomato, taamu and head cabbage have resulted in the 0.1 per cent increase in the local goods component.
The 3.0 per cent increase in the health index was influenced by the higher prices recorded for medicine (amoxicillin tablets).
And higher prices also recorded for hair gel is reflected in the 0.6 per cent increase in the miscellaneous goods and services index.
An increase of 0.5 per cent in the food and non alcoholic beverages index was a reflection of the higher prices recorded for canned fish (natural oil), turkey wings, fresh fish (piece and large), Chinese cabbage, koko samoa, tomato, taamu and head cabbage.
The alcoholic beverages and tobacco index recorded a decrease of 0.4 per cent lower due to the decline in prices recorded for spirit and Samoan kava.
The 0.4 per cent decrease in the clothing and footwear index was a result of a lower price recorded for running shoes.