Inflation rate edges up to 0.9%

  • Cost of living: health insurance premiums was a contributing factor to a consumer inflation rate increase of 0.9 per cent in November (File photograph)

Bermuda’s consumer inflation rate rose to 0.9 per cent in November, with health insurance premiums one of the main contributors to the annual increase.

The inflation rate was 0.2 percentage points higher than in October.

Year-on-year, prices in the health and personal care sector increased 4.1 per cent, while in the food and tobacco, and liquor sectors there was upward price shifts of 3 per cent and 3.9 per cent, respectively.

Between October and November the fuel and power sector declined 2.7 per cent as the fuel adjustment clause contracted 8.3 per cent.

The transport and foreign travel sector recorded a 0.9 per cent increase. Higher prices for overseas car rentals and air fares were the driving force behind the gain, with increases of 18.5 per cent and 6.9 per cent, respectively.

Food prices rose 0.5 per cent for the month. Among the main items contributing to the increase were grapes, up 7.5 per cent, onions up 7 per cent, and cookies up 6.3 per cent.

The tobacco and liquor sector slipped 0.7 per cent as decreases were reported in the average price of wines down 1.6 per cent, and spirits down 1.3 per cent.

Meanwhile, the rent sector fell 0.2 per cent. The decrease reflected a 0.6 per cent drop in the average rent of non-controlled properties. In comparison, rental units subject to rent control were up 0.1 per cent for the month.

The Consumer Price Index figures for November were published by the Department of Statistics.

In a statement, Wayne Furbert, Minister for the Cabinet Office, said: “In November consumers paid 0.9 per cent more for the CPI basket of goods and services than they did in November 2018. Between October 2019 and November 2019 the average cost of all goods and services did not change.”

For comparison, the November inflation rate in the US was 2.1 per cent, while in Canada and the UK it was 2.2 per cent.

Click on Related Media to view the Consumer Price Index bulletin.