Country Report Jamaica
- ID: 2105438
- August 2015
- Region: Jamaica
- 24 Pages
- The Economist Intelligence Unit
According to the most recent data from the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (Statin), consumer prices increased by 0.9% month on month in July-the highest increase seen this calendar year.
The July monthly result owed primarily to strong upward pressures on food and non-alcoholic beverages prices, which increased by 2.2% in the month. This, in turn, was due to a 9.7% increase in prices for vegetables and starchy foods, which increased in the month as drought conditions begin to affect domestic supply. The category for housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels also saw a rise of 1%, despite lower oil prices in the month. This owed in part to the Jamaica Public Service Company, the electric utility provider, increasing the electricity fuel rate charged to consumers, but rates for water and sewage also increased. Transportation saw a decline of 2.7% in the month, which owed to a 16.7% summer discount for adult bus fares in Kingston, the capital city.
The relatively steep monthly increase in July compares with weak monthly price growth over the past 12 months, including four months of disinflation from November 2014 to February 2015. Prices increases have slowly gained traction since then, but still remain far below historical averages. July's result brings accumulated inflation for 2015 to 2%, and 12-month inflation to just 3.8%, the country's lowest rate of inflation since the late 1960s. This should help to boost the national economy by increasing Jamaicans' purchasing power, which will further be bolstered by increased remittance flows being seen this year.