According to the Central Administration of Statistics (CAS), consumer prices rose on average by an annual 5.37% in the first two months of 2018, as all 13 components of the Consumer price index (CPI) posted average yearly upturns. The rise continues to be linked to the jump in average oil prices from $57.7/barrel by Feb. 2017 to $67.5/barrel over the same period this year. In addition, the VAT hike which came into effect as of January 1, 2018 continued to further inflate the prices of goods and services, thereby diminishing consumers’ purchasing power.
In details, the average costs of “Housing and utilities” (including: water, electricity, gas and other fuels), which composed 28.4% of the CPI, climbed by 5.38% year-on-year (y-o-y) in the first two months of 2018. The breakdown of this component showed that “Owner-occupied” rental costs composing 13.6% of “Housing and utilities” increased by 4.24% y-o-y, and the average prices of “Water, electricity, gas, and other fuels”, making up 11.8% of the same category, rose by an annual 6.57% over the same period.
In its turn, the average prices of “Food and non-alcoholic beverages” (20% of CPI) increased by 3.67% y-o-y by Feb. 2018. Moreover, with “Transportation” services (13.10% of the CPI) relying mainly on oil, their sub-index added a yearly 5.06% on average by Feb. 2018.
In addition, the average “Health” (7.7% of the CPI) and “Education” (6.6% of the CPI) sub-indices recorded respective upticks of 4.61% and 3.86% y-o-y by Feb. 2018. As for the prices of “Clothing and Footwear” (5.2% of CPI), they substantially rose by an average of 19.6% over the same period.
On a monthly basis, the CPI inched up by 0.2% compared to the previous month. In details, the sub-indices of “Transportation” and “Food and non-alcoholic beverages” recorded the highest monthly upticks of 1.06% and 1.01%, respectively, in February 2018, compared to minimal upticks in the prices of most of the CPI components.
Average Inflation Rates by February