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CPI data shows higher prices

Bahamians are paying more for basic services, including healthcare. FILE

Bahamians are paying more for basic goods and services than they have over the past four years, according to data from the Department of Statistics, which shows that the consumer price index (CPI) rose to 108.81 in September this year.

Inflation rose at its fastest pace in March and April this year by 4 percent, before settling by 1.8 percent in July at the start of the new fiscal year, where it stayed in September.

This CPI increase comes despite a number of tax breaks the government implemented in the 2019/2020 budget.

The areas that show the highest spikes are healthcare, transportation, furniture and household equipment, restaurants and hotels, alcohol beverages, tobacco and narcotics.

The CPI index for health in September 2018 was 121.15, whereas it stood at 134.95 in September this year. The CPI index for transportation rose from 102.46 in September 2018 to 114.35 in September this year. Alcohol beverages, tobacco and narcotics also showed a similar spike, rising rose from 114.77 to 119.56 over the same period.

The housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels group increased marginally from 103.48 to 103.83 over the same time frame.

There were decreases in the average cost of some major groups. Food and non-alcoholic beverages dropped marginally from 108.28 in September 2018 to 107.77 this year; clothing and footwear dropped from 107.71 to 107.14; education dropped from 107.84 to 105.53; and communication dropped from 109.30 to 105.53 on the index.

Inflation sat at 3.11 percent in July, according to the most recent data from the Central Bank of The Bahamas.

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