The Economic and Statistics Office has just released figures on the Consumer Price Index for the first quarter of this year and it will come as no surprise to consumers that it leapt up by a big margin, increasing by 11.2 per cent when compared to the first quarter of 2021. Electricity, housing, fuel and cars have all seen major leaps in cost this year.
Anyone who has recently received their CUC bill for May will know that prices for utilities are on the up. For the first quarter of 2022, housing and utilities recorded the largest average price increase of 20.1 per cent in the CPI basket. This was due mainly to the rise in the average cost of electricity which went up by a whopping 35 per cent, water supply costs which increased by 25.3 per cent, imputed rentals for owner-occupiers which rose by 19.7 per cent, materials for the maintenance and repair up by 16.2 per cent and actual rentals paid by tenants by 12.3 per cent.
With the price of fuel climbing by 29 per cent, this impacted the transport index, which rose by 1 per cent. The index for other services regarding personal transport equipment increased by 17.1 per cent, and the index for the purchase of motor vehicles also went up by 14.7 per cent.
In addition to the big increases above, the index for clothing and footwear rose by 8 per cent in the first quarter of 2022. The main contributors to this increase were a 28 per cent rise in the prices of footwear purchased abroad and a 7.9 per cent upward movement in clothing purchased locally.
A comparison of the first quarter of 2022 with the fourth quarter of 2021 indicated that the CPI rose by 1.5 per cent, the average cost of clothing and footwear rose by 6.3 per cent, and education moved upward by 4.1 per cent, while communication had an increase of 3.4 percent.
More information from the Cayman Islands’ Consumer Price Index Report: January to March 2022 may be downloaded from www.eso.ky