Inflation continues to ravage consumers, latest CPI proves, while Pringle chides Administration for doing little to contain it

The prices of food in Antigua and Barbuda continue to record significant increases according to the recently released Consumer Price Index (CPI).

The Statistics Division has released the CPI for December, which shows that the “Year-on-Year Analysis” saw the All Items Index increasing by 9.2% for the 12 months ending December 2022.

In the face of this, Opposition Leader Jamale Pringle is criticizing the Gaston Browne Administration for not having done anything significant to address the cost of living.

And while, in other parts of the world, inflation is being brought under control, Pringle says that prices on the local supermarket shelves and otherwise seem to be increasing on a daily basis.

He notes that the Antigua Labour Party put out a manifesto with not one programme to tackle the rising cost of living.

In contrast, Pringle says the United Progressive Party’s document outlines a number of initiatives to reduce inflation, which is what almost propelled it to victory at the polls.

The Food Index, according to the Division, rose 12.1% over the last 12 months.

It was noted that the index for oils and fats rose 27.5%, with average price increases for fresh butter and soya oil contributing to the steep hike.

The index for sugars, jams, honey, chocolate, and confectionery rose 21.2% over the year, while the index for sugar increased 27.8% over the same period, and the index for ice cream and sorbet rose 16.3%.

Reports are that the index for food products N.E.C. rose by 19.8% while that for meat and meat products increased by 15.2%.

The remaining food groups posted changes ranging from -3.4% (for fruit) to 12.9% (for bread and cereals).

Additionally, the Index for All Items Less Food and Energy rose 8.5%, a slightly larger increase than the 8.1% rise in November 2022.

There was also “… a larger increase in the index for transport services which rose from 34.6% to 41.7%.”

Meanwhile, the Monthly Consumer Price Index rose 0.2% for the month ending December 2022.

Reportedly the Food Index increased by 1.1% in December, following a bump of 0.8% in November.  Six of the nine major supermarket food group indexes increased over the month.

The All Items Consumer Price Index (CPI) is the main measure of what is commonly called inflation, or headline inflation.

It measures the change in prices, on average, from month-to-month, and from year-to-year of the goods and services bought by most households.