The latest rate of annual price inflation is estimated to be 4.7%, between the fourth quarter of 2018 and the fourth quarter of 2017. This is a 0.6 percentage point increase from the previous quarter, when the annual price inflation rate was measured at 4.1% (Chart 1). The average annual inflation for 2018 was 3.8%, calculated as the average of the rates for the four quarters that make up the 2018 calendar year.
The average prices in every category increased, compared to a year ago. 'Communications' remains the category with the highest annual inflation, 10.4% currently compared to 10.8% the previous quarter � this is mostly the result of the increase in telephone tariffs during Q3 2018. Tariff increases in both government (i.e. road licences) and private sector service fees (i.e. television subscriptions) also resulted in increased annual inflation rates for the 'Miscellaneous goods and services' and 'Transport' categories. The 'Food' category saw a two percentage point increase in the annual inflation rate compared to the previous quarter, the combined effect of increases in highly-weighted items such as local bread and price increases in other food items. The average price of food, as measured by the representative items collected in the shopping basket, has increased by almost 5% compared to this point last year. As the price of domestic electricity has remained static, the 'Household Energy' expenditure category has the lowest annual inflation rate at 1.3%. The annual price increase in the 'Clothing' and 'Housing' categories also fell, to 2.3% and 2.7% respectively.
Source: St Helena Government