20 April 2021
For the first quarter of 2021 the Retail Price Index (RPI) has been measured at 106.3. This is a small increase from a year ago, when the RPI was 105.9. This means that the annual inflation rate is 0.4%, comparing prices now to the same time period in 2020. Last quarter, the index stood at 105.6.
Chart 1. St Helena Retail Price Index Q1 2014 to Q1 2021 (Q1 2018=100)
The 0.4% annual inflation rate is a combined result of the low inflation rates in both the UK and South Africa and the impact of the value of the South African Rand compared to the St Helena Pound over the last 12 months. Inflation in the United Kingdom was measured at 0.4% for February 2021 (Office for National Statistics), inflation in South Africa was measured at 2.9% during the same period (Statistics South Africa). The Rand has strengthened slightly against the Pound over the year, contributing to the price change in some items bought from South Africa. Freight costs and rates of customs duties for certain items also have an impact on shelf prices along with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic which has been a contributing factor, limiting some suppliers’ operations and the demand for goods and services.
Notable increases in prices over the year include items in the alcohol and tobacco category and the clothing category. Notable decreases in annual prices included the price of fuel; petrol fell from £1.37 to £1.28 per litre, and diesel from £1.46 to £1.35 a litre.
The full Statistical Bulletin can be found on the St Helena Government website here: https://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/st-helena/statistics/statistics-reports-and-publications/ detailed data can be accessed in Excel format from the ‘Inflation’ file at: https://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/st-helena/statistics/
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20 April 2021