19 July 2023
For the second quarter of 2023 (April to June) the Retail Price Index (RPI) has been measured at 115.3, compared to 112.8 for the same quarter a year ago. This means that retail prices have, on average, increased by 2.2% over the 12 month period, even though the annual rate has slowed compared to the rate in the previous quarter (5.4%) (Chart 1).
Chart 1. Annual inflation rate, Q2 2016 to Q2 2023
The RPI uses 203 representative items to measure price changes in nine different categories of household spending; since a year ago, 81 of these items increased in price, 31 items decreased in price, and the price of 91 items remained unchanged.
The most notable change in prices over the past three months was in petrol and diesel, whose price fell from £1.90 and £2.01 a litre in Q1 2023, to £1.88 and £1.86 in Q2 2023. This was also a fall from Q2 2022, a year ago, when the price of petrol and diesel had increased to £1.98 and £2.22 from their previous price of £1.37 and £1.45 a litre. This fall over the year in the price of fuel is the main reason why the annual inflation rate has decreased to 2.2%, from 5.4% last quarter.
Even though the price of fuel has fallen, prices in four other categories of expenditure all increased, on average, by 4% or more compared to a year ago. This includes Alcohol and Tobacco, Household Goods and Services, Food, and Clothing. In particular, annual Food price inflation has been measured at 5.6%. This is slightly lower than the 6.1% rate measured last quarter, but it is otherwise still the highest annual rate measured for the Food category since 2017.
Food is also the largest category in the RPI basket of goods and services, covering roughly a third of the items measured. To update this basket and maintain the accuracy of the RPI and measures of price inflation, the Statistics Office is planning to conduct a new Household Expenditure Survey between August and October (the current basket is derived from a Household Expenditure Survey conducted in 2017).
A full Statistical Bulletin and a link to a detailed data file can be accessed through the St Helena Government website, at www.sainthelena.gov.sh/2023/statistics/statistical-bulletin-6-2023-price-inflation/.
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19 July 2023