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Consumer Prices Start The Year On a High

>> Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Consumer prices started the year on a higher note, although the rate of increase last month was lower than what analysts had expected.

The consumer price index (CPI) in January rose by 0.7 per cent over December, without adjusting for seasonal factors. On seasonally-adjusted terms, the increase was 0.4 per cent. This was attributed mainly to higher costs of housing, transport as well as education and stationery.

Housing costs moved up by 2.6 per cent on-month due to higher electricity tariffs and service and conservancy charges, as rebates for service and conservancy charges were given in December, but not in January, said the Department of Statistics.

Higher prices of cars and petrol led to a 0.9-per-cent on-month hike in the cost of transport.

Higher fees at commercial institutions, playgroups and childcare centres raised the costs of education and stationery by 1 per cent.

Compared to a year ago, last month's CPI climbed 0.2 per cent. On-year, housing costs dropped by 2.4 per cent, but the cost of transport advanced by 7.1 per cent.

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