CPI increases by 3.15% this March

CPI increases by 3.15% this March

The price of consumer goods and services in the market showed an increase by 3.15 percent in March this year, according to data from the National Statistics Bureau (NSB). However, this is a decline of 2.43 percentage points compared to the same month last year, indicating that the rate of increase has slowed down.

The report also revealed that the rate of increase dropped for both food and non-food items. The price of food increased by 0.75 percent while non-food increased by 5.23 percent.

Transportation prices in March showed an increase of 6.72 percent, although this figure is lower by 5.44 percentage points compared to the same month last year. This is attributed to the decrease in the price of fuel.

In the food category, the prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages increased by 0.48 percent, while the prices of alcoholic beverages and betel nuts recorded an increase of 4.48 percent.

Meanwhile, the CPI is a measure of the average change in the prices of goods and services bought by households in a particular country over time.

It is a widely used economic indicator that helps track the rate of inflation and the purchasing power of consumers.

The CPI is calculated by taking a basket of goods and services that are commonly purchased by consumers such as food, housing, clothing, transportation and healthcare and tracking their prices over time. 

Meanwhile, the month-on-month Consumer Price Index (CPI) in March decreased by 0.35 percent compared to February. The prices of both food and non-food items decreased by 0.58 percent and 0.15 percent respectively. Meanwhile, the price for transport decreased by 0.76 percent in March.

A decrease in prices has been recorded for both divisions under the food category, with food and non-alcoholic beverages decreasing by 0.53 percent, and alcoholic beverages and betel nuts decreasing by 1.18 percent.

Additionally, the data from the NSB suggests a moderate increase in the prices of consumer goods and services in March 2023. However, this figure is lower compared to the same month last year, indicating a trend towards more stable pricing in the market.

Meanwhile, from 2020 to 2021, the price of household goods and services grew by 7.35 percent. This represents a 1.72 percentage point increase above the 5.63 percent increase in 2020. The higher rate in 2021 was attributable to a 5.62 percent increase in non-food, compared to a 1.24 percent increase in 2020. Food costs accounted for over 60 percent of all inflation in 2021, with non-food prices accounting for 40 percent of the total rise.

Food prices were the primary driver of inflation in 2020, accounting for about 90 percent of the entire rise. Food and alcoholic drinks provided more than half of the overall rise in 2021, followed by transportation, which contributed about 15 percent, and clothes and footwear, which contributed approximately 11 percent. In 2021, the largest rise was 16.66 percent for alcoholic drinks and betel nuts, while the lowest increase was 0.66 percent for school expenses. Except for communication, which fell by 9.90 percent, all other divisions increased.

Tshering Pelden from Thimphu