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Rise in food prices slows, health care costs fall in Brunei

Publication Date : 21-08-2012

 

Brunei's average Consumer Price Index (CPI) in the first quarter of 2012 was recorded at a level of 107, which directly translates into an average year-on-year inflation of 0.6 per cent.

The Department of Economic Planning and Development (JPKE), in its latest Brunei Economic Bulletin (BEB first quarter 2012), revealed that prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages accelerated at a rate of 1.4 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter, down from 2.8 per cent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2011.

"The price of food and non-alcoholic beverages grew by 1.4 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2012, from 2.8 per cent year-on-year growth in the fourth quarter of 2011. This was mostly generated by a 9.9 per cent year-on-year increase for the price of chicken," JPKE explained.

For non-food items, the average inflation was 0.4 per cent year-on-year in the first quater, as compared to 1.8 per cent recorded in the quarter prior.

"In Q1 2012, the price of clothing and footwear grew by 1.3 per cent year-on-year after a 3.8 per cent year-on-year growth in 2011 fourth quarter. This was mainly attributed to the higher prices of women's outer clothing [1.1 contribution to inflation]," the BEB said.

JPKE also said that the cost of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels increased by 0.1 per cent year-on-year, down from a year-on-year growth of 1.1 per cent in the quarter prior.

The price of materials for the maintenance and repair of the dwelling rose the highest, by 3.6 per cent-year-on-year.

"Between first quarter of 2011 and the second quarter of 2012, the highest quarterly inflation was in 2011's third quarter, at 2.4 per cent year-on-year, while the lowest rate of inflation in the five quarter period was recorded in first quarter of 2012, when the rate was 0.7 per cent," the BEB said.

JPKE also said that in in the first quarter of 2012, four major groups: health; education; communication and transport; experienced a year-on-year decline by 1.4 per cent, 0.8 per cent, 0.7 per cent and 0.1 per cent respectively.

"Other groups recorded a year-on-year increase with recreation and culture showing the highest increase at 3.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2012," the statement said.

JPKE added: "Based on contribution to inflation, food and non-alcoholic beverages contributed the most at 0.3 percentage points [contribution to inflation]."

Recreation and culture came second at 0.2 percentage points, followed by clothing and footwear and miscellaneous goods and services at 0.1 percentage points each.

However, despite noticeable year-on-year declines in the costs of Household Utensils (non-electrical) and Other Household Textiles by eight per cent and 7.4 per cent respectively, the overall cost of Furnishing, Household Equipment and Routine Household Maintenance recorded a lower growth of 0.1 per cent year-on-year following a 0.4 per cent year-on-year growth in the fourth quarter of the previous year.

As for Restaurants and Hotels, the cost rose by 0.3 per cent year-on-year from a 0.8 per cent, mainly as a result of inflationary pressure in the Restaurant and Cafes sub-class, which increased by 0.7 per cent.

The BEB also showed that the cost of Health continued to fall by 1.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2012, after a negative growth of 2.9 per cent in the quarter prior.

"The fall in the prices of Medical Preparations and Patent Medicines, by 2.9 per cent year-on-year contributed to the decline. Education cost also continued to fall by 0.8 per cent year-on-year in Q1 2012 following a 1.8 per cent year-on-year decline in Q4 2011. This was principally due to the drop in price of Primary Education [1.9 per cent year-on-year]," JPKE said.

 

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