Consumer prices see modest increase in September
After a lull in August, consumer prices began to pick up again in September, increasing 0.3 percent month over month, compared to the modest 0.1 percent recorded in the previous period.
The Bahamas National Statistical Institute (BNSI), in its just released Consumer Price Index (CPI) for September, showed a 6.5 percent increase year over year, reflective of the continued pressures of global inflation.
Most consumer categories saw marginal percentage changes. For example, the category of clothing and footwear remained unchanged month over month, while alcoholic beverages, tobacco and narcotics saw a marginal decline. Transportation and housing saw the biggest changes in price month over month.
“The transportation category saw a two percent increase when compared to last month. Meanwhile, food and non-alcoholic beverages rose 1.3 percent consecutively, when compared to last month. Furniture and household, however, declined some two percent for the month of September,” the BNSI said.
“On a year-over-year basis, the CPI rose 6.5 percent over the same period last year. The major categories that contributed to this rise include transportation, food and non-alcoholic beverages, along with recreation and culture, showing increases of 17 percent, 16 percent and 13 percent respectively.”
Gas prices reached a new average low of $6.10, since the $7.02 average high in July.
The Bahamas, like the rest of the world, has been experiencing its highest rise in inflation in at least four decades, driven primarily by the war in Ukraine and supply chain shortages resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
In recent months, the Davis administration has implemented new policies to ease the burden of rising costs on Bahamians, including reducing customs duties on a wide array of foods and other items, as well as the addition of dozens more food items and medicines to the price control list.
On the other hand, Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) in October raised the fuel charge on consumer electricity bills.
Economists have forecast inflation remaining high at least into the first quarter of 2023.