Inflation increased to 3.23 percent in March

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) from March 2017 to March 2018 has increased to 3.23 percent, according to the CPI Bulletin for March 2018, released by National Statistics Bureau (NSB) recently.

Inflation rate is 0.62 percentage point higher than the previous month (February) which was 2.61 percent and 0.25 percentage points higher than in January which was recorded at 2.98 percent.

The increase is mainly associated with the increase in food prices at 7.83 percent while the rate of increase for non-food further decreased to 0.28 percent compared to the rate in February which was at 0.46 percent and 0.58 percent in January.

The prices of local goods and services increased to 3.14 percent in March after dropping to 1.90 percent in February. This was mainly due to increase in food prices by 8.53 percent whereas non-food remained almost at same rate of 0.10 percent.

Prices of imported goods and services went up by 3.31 percent for the past one year with corresponding increase in food prices by 7.27 percent and non-food with only 0.46 percent increase.

As per the CPI for January month is increased by 0.18 percent. Food prices went up by 0.24 percent and non-food by 0.14 percent. CPI for both local and imported commodities increased by 0.18 percent, with food prices contributing to increase in local goods and services by 0.46 percent. Non-food prices contributed to the increase in imported goods with 0.27 percent.

Likewise, the CPI for February over January month has increased by 0.23 percent. Food prices went up by 0.35 percent and non-food by 0.14 percent. Price of local goods and services increased by 0.21 percent with food prices, which is an increase of 0.33 percent and non-food by 0.14 percent. Imported commodities went up by 0.24 percent over previous month with corresponding increase in food and non-food by 0.37 percent and 0.15 percent respectively.

The CPI for March, over the previous month of February, has increased by 0.14 percent due to increase in food prices by 0.36 percent while non-food prices remained same.

Price of local goods and services recorded a minimal increase of only 0.04 percent, contributed by increase in food prices by 0.09 percent. Imported commodities recorded same increase as the previous month by 0.24 percent due to increase in food prices by 0.57 percent, while average non-food prices remained same.

The purchasing power of Ngultrum (PPN), as measured by CPI for three months, was Nu 75. This means, Ngultrum 100 in January, February and March 2018 is worth only Ngultrum 75 in comparison to December 2012 price.

Therefore, PPN has decreased by 2.55 percent in the past 12 months (from February 2017 to February 2018) due to the price increase in the economy.

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