September consumer price index falls but annual inflation picks up

THE latest Honiara Consumer Price Index (CPI) has shown a fall of 0.6 percent in the month of September, 2017.

This was according to the Solomon Islands National Statistics Office latest statistical bulletin released by the Government Statistician Douglas Kimi last week Friday.

CPI is a monthly indicator of the variation in prices for retail goods and other items. The basket of goods chosen represents the spending behaviour of the population of Honiara and the resulting CPI is used to calculate inflation.

Releasing the Statistical Bulletin (CPI), Mr Kimi said Honiara CPI for the month of September 2017 dropped by 0.6 percent from 187.4 the previous month to 186.3.

He said this was largely driven by price drops in Food, and Housing and Utilities outweighing price rises in Drinks and Tobacco, and Transport and Communication sub-sections of the index.

“The Food sub-index fell 1.7 percent during the month to 172.1 Price declines were recorded in rice (1.1 percent), meat (0.1) and fresh fruit and vegetables sold at the Honiara market; most notable include tomatoes (21.4), bush cabbage (20.5), pawpaw (17.6), kumara (5.8), melon (6.5), Chinese cabbage (1.4), cooking bananas (6.1), and dry coconuts (1.6). These outweighed rises in the price of cassava (0.5), ripe banana (13.7), fern cabbage (3.2), spring onions (8.9), green beans (0.8), cucumber (1.7), and powdered milk (1.1) to result in the fall of the overall food sub-index,” Mr Kimi added.

Other major changes in other sub-indexes include:

  • Drinks and Tobacco went up 0.5 percent driven by a 2.5 percent rise in the price of betel nut.
  • Housing and Utilities slightly fell 0.1 percent on account of a 0.8 percent fall in electricity charges outweighing a 3.2 percent rise in the price of kerosene.
  • Household Operations went up 0.1 percent due to a 0.2 percent rise in the price of household appliances and equipment.
  • Transport and Communications rose 0.5 percent on account of a 3.7 percent and 2.5 percent rise in the price of petrol and diesel, respectively.

Mr Kimi said apart from the above, price movements elsewhere in the consumption basket were negligible.

“The overall annual headline inflation rate for the month of September 2017, calculated on a 3 months moving average basis was 1.5 percent, up 0.1 of a percentage point from 1.4 percent the previous month. The corresponding inflation rates for imported and other items were -2.0 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively.”

Meanwhile, Mr Kimi said the main underlying rates of inflation based on a 3 months moving average for the month of September 2017 were observed between -2.5 percent and 0.2 percent while the headline inflation rate was 1.5 percent.


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