Prices on bread and flour products increase for second time in weeks, as inflation rose 5.6% in September, Statistics Division reports

Inflation continues to spike in Antigua and Barbuda, with the cost of
living at an all-time high, and with the price of bread and other flour
products increasing for the second time within weeks.
This does not augur well for most citizens and residents, who are
struggling to make ends meet, and with reports that the Gaston
Browne Administration is contemplating a 2 percent hike in the
Antigua and Barbuda Sales Tax (ABST).
Based on the recently released Consumer Price Index (CPI) from the
Statistics Division, the inflation rate – or the All Items Index – for the
12 months ending September 2023 rose 5.6 percent.
For the 12 months ending August 2023, the Price Index for All
Items Index increased 6.6 percent; therefore, it means the more
recent hike is only 1 percent lower.

The Statistics Division says increases in September were influenced
predominantly by spikes in the indexes for communication.
transport, and food and non-alcoholic beverages.
The index for food increased 4.5% over the last 12 months, the
Division says.
The report says the index for bread and cereals rose by 8.2 percent
and accounted for almost 30 percent of the food increase, which was
primarily due to increases in the indexes for other cereals, flour and
other products, and other bakery items.
According to the Division, the index for these categories of items
accounted for 91 percent of the bread and cereal index increase.
The index for vegetables rose 4.3 percent, with the index for frozen,
preserved, or processed vegetables and vegetable-based products
rising 9.0 percent.
Reportedly, the index for meat and meat products declined 5.0
percent, with five of the six meat and meat-products subcategories
declining – except for the pork index, which increased 13.4 percent.
The Statistics Division confirms that the index for All Items Less
Food and Energy rose 6.9 percent over the past 12 months, with the
four influential contributors being communication; restaurants and
hotels; miscellaneous goods and services and furnishings and
household equipment; and routine household maintenance.
Meanwhile, the monthly Consumer Price Index declined by 0.9
percent for the month ending September 2023; however, the index
for food increased by 2.5 percent over the last month.

Six of the nine food sub-categories posted increased over the one-
month period, including fruits and vegetables; fish and seafood; and
sugar, jam, honey, chocolate and confectionery.