CPI increases by 4.60% this November

This increase is attributed to the rising price of both food and non-food items in the market

The price of consumer goods and services, or Consumer Price Index (CPI) in the market showed a surge of 4.60% in November this year compared to the same month last year. However, this is a decline of 0.01 percentage points compared to the same month last year, according to data from the National Statistics Bureau (NSB).

The report also revealed that the rates increased for both food and non-food items. The price for both food and non-food items increased by 5.21% and 4.09% respectively.

Among the twelve major divisions under inflation, the price for all other divisions was hiked except for transportation and communication, which were recorded to have decreased by 0.99% and 2.86% respectively.

In the food category, the prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages increased by 5.16%, while the prices of alcoholic beverages and betel nuts recorded an increase of 5.81%. Similarly, the price of housing and utilities increased by 9.51%.

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.

The NSB collects price data from 20 districts, and a total of 450 outlets were selected for pricing across the country every month to compile the CPI.

The CPI baskets have a total of 113 items (314 varieties) classified according to the Classification of Individual Consumption According to Purpose (COICOP). The weight for the current CPI is derived using household consumption expenditure data from the Bhutan Living Standard Survey (BLSS) conducted every five years, and the current weight is based on BLSS 2017.

Meanwhile, the month-on-month CPI in November increased by 0.21% compared to October. The price of food increased by 1.08%, while the price of non-food items decreased by 0.52%. The price of food and non-alcoholic beverages increased by 1.16% and the price of alcoholic beverages and betel nuts increased by 0.1%.

Meanwhile, the prices of household goods and services increased by 5.64% from 2021 to 2022. This represents a drop of 1.71 percentage points compared to a 7.35% increase in 2021.

The lower rate in 2022 was due to the lower rate of increase in food items by just 3.95% compared to a 9.38% increase in 2021. Food prices contributed to about 34% of the overall inflation rate in 2022, and non-food prices contributed 66% of the total inflation.

In 2021, food prices were the main driver of the inflation rate, contributing to almost 60% of the total increase.

Among the 12 major divisions, food and alcoholic beverages division contributed more than 33% of the total increase in 2022, followed by transport division with about 33%, and clothing and footwear division with about 13% of the total increase.

The transport division recorded the highest increase with 12.59% while alcoholic beverages and betel nuts recorded the lowest increase with 1.16%. All other divisions recorded an increase except for communication, which dropped by 1.46%.

Nidup Lhamo from Thimphu