Salone Scores Big on Consumer Price Inflation Index

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The Annual National Consumer Price Inflation (year-on-year) stood at 8.95 percent, down by 1.92 percentage point from 10.87 percent in February 2021.

The monthly consumer price inflation for March 2021 is 0.84 percent; down by 0.65 percentage points from 1.49 percent in February, 2021.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages declined by 4.14 percentage points from 19.59 percent in February 2021 to 15.45 percent in March 2021.

Alcoholic beverages, tobacco and narcotics increased from 8.27 percent in February 2021 to 9.98 percent in March 2021. The inflation rate increased by 1.71 percentage point year-on-year.

Clothing and footwear declined by 4.22 percentage points from 12.95 percent in February 2021 to 8.73 percent in March 2021.

Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels increased from -0.18 percent in February 2021 to 2.92 percent in March 2021. The inflation rate increased by 3.10 percentage points year-on-year.

Furniture, household equipment and household maintenance declined by 1.51 percentage point from 13.16 percent in February 2021 to 11.65 percent in March 2021.

Health increased from -2.79 percent in February 2021 to -1.86 percent in March 2021. The inflation rate increased by 0.93 percentage point year-on-year.

Transport increased from 4.87 percent in February 2021 to 6.21 percent in March 2021. The inflation rate increased by 1.34 percentage point year-on-year.

Communication declined by 7.66 percentage points from 10.91 percent in February 2021 to 3.25 percent in March 2021.

Recreation and culture declined by 3.16 percentage points from 4.62 percent in February 2021 to 1.46 percent in March 2021.

For Education, no change is noticed between February, 2021 and March, 2021. 

Restaurant and hotels declined by 2.81 percentage points from 1.62 percent in February 2021 to -1.19 percent in March 2021.

Miscellaneous goods and services declined by 4.42 percentage point from 7.69 percent in February 2021 to 3.27 percent in March 2021.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages declined by 2.07 percentage points from 2.59 percent in February 2021 to 0.52 percent in March 2021

Alcoholic beverages, tobacco and narcotics increased from 0.68 percent in February 2021 to 3.14 percent in March 2021. The inflation rate increased by 2.46 percentage points year-on-year.

Clothing and footwear declined by 0.51 percentage point from -0.95 percent in February 2021 to -1.46 percent in March 2021

Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels declined by 3.56 percentage points from 4.83 percent in February 2021 to 1.27 percent in March 2021

Furniture, household equipment and household maintenance declined by 2.82 percentage points from 2.98 percent in February 2021 to 0.16 percent in March 2021.

Health increased from -3.29 percent in February 2021 to 3.93 percent in March 2021. The inflation rate increased by 7.22 percentage points year-on-year.

Transport declined by 3.84 percentage points from 4.04 percent in February 2021 to 0.20 percent in March 2021.

Communication services declined by 2.03 percentage points from 0.24 percent in February 2021 to -1.79 percent in March 2021.

Recreation and culture declined by 0.52 percentage point from 0.52 percent in February 2021 to 0.00 percent in March 2021.

For Education, no change is noticed between February, 2021 and March, 2021. 

Restaurants and hotels services declined by 2.80 percentage points from 2.27 percent in February 2021 to -0.53 percent in March 2021.

Miscellaneous goods and services declined by 1.66 percentage point from 1.51 percent in February 2021 to -0.15 percent in March 2021.

The National Monthly CPI (2008=100) increased from 323.01 in February 2021 to 325.72 in March 2021, resulting to 0.84 percent inflation this month. The national year-on-year inflation for March 2021 stood at 8.95 percent, indicating a downwards trend compared to 10.87 percent in February 2021.

Western region shows an upward movement from 7.55 percent in February 2021 to 7.90 percent in March 2021; while the other three regions moved downwards.

Eastern region moved from 11.96 percent in February 2021 to 8.57 percent in March 2021; Southern region moved from 11.98 percent in February 2021 to 10.59 percent in March 2021 and Northern region from 15.64 percent in February, 2021 to 9.93 percent in March 2021.

It is observed from the table above that the year-on-year inflation rates for the Southern and Northern regions are above the national estimate for the month of March, 2021; while Western and Eastern regions estimates are below.

The National CPI measures the change in prices, on average, from month to month, of the goods and services bought by households, in Freetown, Bo, Kenema, Kono and Makeni and include all expenditure groups. Prices are collected for at least 436 items.

All prices collected are the prevailing retail market prices from six (6) markets in Freetown and, three (3) Markets each in Bo, Kenema, Makeni and Kono for weekly prices and other outlets for monthly items whose prices are less likely to fluctuate rapidly.

Food items inflation decreased by 4.14 percentage points from 19.59 percent in February 2021 to 15.45 percent in March 2021. Food items inflation declined because some food item prices either reduced or increased marginally in March 2021.

For instance, local long-grained rice was up by 4% in February but down by 2% in March; local medium-grained rice which was up by 5% in February, is now up by only 1% in March; Couscous was up by 1% in February but down by 17% in March, frozen chicken was up by 12% in February but down by 10% in March and dried pepper which went down by 11% in February further went down by 17% in March. Higher increases were, however, noticed in some fresh vegetables like: cucumber, from 3% in February to 17% in March; Fresh okra, from 4% in February to 13% in March, Sorrel leaves, from 19% in February to 29% in March and green cabbage from 7% in February to 15% in March.

However, potato leaves remained 9%, while cassava leaves which increased by 31% in February declined by 3% in March.

The non-food items inflation decreased by 0.36 percentage point from 4.24 in February 2021 to 3.88 percent in March 2021. Clothing and footwear by 4.22 percentage points; communication by 7.66 percentage points, recreation and culture by 3.16 percentage points; restaurants and hotels by 2.81 percentage points and miscellaneous goods and services by 4.42 percentage points are the biggest downward movers in the non-food items basket.