Negative inflation

Market vendors sell their produce at Lautoka market. Picture: FT FILE/BALJEET SINGH

The average annual rate of inflation for the twelve months to March 2021 stands at -2.1 per cent according the Fiji Bureau of Statistics.

According to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for March 2021 while the month- on- month inflation rate (compared with March 2020) stood at -1.2 per cent, all items CPI for the month of March registered a decrease of 2.6 per cent over February 2021 (114.6) and stands at 111.6.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages recorded a -5.6 per cent change as lower prices were for bread and cereals, fish and seafood, vegetables, confectionery, food products not elsewhere classified and non-alcoholic beverages such as coffee, tea and cocoa and mineral water.

Alcoholic beverages, tobacco and narcotics had shown a change of -4.4 per cent as lower prices were recorded for beer, cigarettes and yaqona.

Clothing and footwear noted a change of -0.4 per cent which meant lower prices were recorded for garments, other articles of clothing and clothing accessories, shoes and footwear.

Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels saw a +1.6 per cent change as higher prices were recorded for house paints, gas and liquid fuels.

Furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance noted a change of -0.1 per cent as lower prices were recorded for furniture and furnishings, major household appliances whether electric or not and small electric household appliance.

Higher prices were recorded for pharmaceutical products as health saw a change of +0.2 per cent and with transport recording a change of +1.4 per cent higher prices were noted for spare parts and accessories for personal transport equipment and fuels and lubricants.

FBoS also noted no price change in the communication and education division.

The recreation and culture division recorded a -0.1 per cent change as lower prices were recorded for equipment for the reception, recording and reproduction of sound and picture and equipment for sport, camping and open-air recreation.

The restaurants and hotels recorded a +0.2 per cent change as higher prices were recorded for restaurant meals.

Miscellaneous goods and services noted a +0.2 per cent change as higher prices were recorded for other appliance, articles and products for personal care and other personal effects.

It was reported the CPI was compiled to indicate average changes in the prices of goods and services purchased by households nationwide with monthly price collections carried out in the urban areas such as Suva, Lami, Nasinu, Nausori, Lautoka, Nadi, Ba and Labasa.

The index was taken to represent price changes in the rural areas as well.

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