The Consumer Price Index (CPI) was 131.7 (1998=100) as per May 2012, compared with 131.0 in the corresponding period in 2011. This was equivalent to a year-to-year growth of 0.5 per cent in May 2012, up 0.2 percentage points from April. The year-to year growth in the CPI adjusted for tax changes and excluding energy products (CPI-ATE) was 1.4 per cent in May 2012, up 0.7 percentage points from the previous month.
No change from April to May
The CPI in total remained unchanged from April to May 2012. Food prices increased by 1.9 per cent from April to May. The overall group was therefore recovered after the price fall measured from March to April. The main contributors to the rise in prices were the sub-groups fish, meat, vegetables and fruit together with bread and cereals. Airline fares went up by 11.5 per cent in the same period.
In the opposite direction, electricity including grid rent contributed with a price fall of 5.2 per cent from April to May, while prices of fuels and lubricants went down by 3.3 per cent. Prices of books and clothing fell by 9.6 and 1.1 per cent respectively.
CPI increased by 0.5 per cent in the last twelve months
The CPI rose by 0.5 per cent from May 2011 to May 2012. Food and non-alcoholic beverages showed a price increase of 2.0 per cent in this period. Imputed rentals for owner-occupiers went up by 1.6 per cent, while prices of operation of personal transport equipment increased by 3.2 per cent. Prices of restaurant services and actual charges for financial services rose by 4.2 and 6.2 per cent respectively. Alcoholic beverages and tobacco showed an increase in prices of 3.4 per cent from May 2011 to May 2012.
The prices of electricity including grid rent fell by 24.5 per cent from May 2011 to May 2012. The CPI excluding electricity (CPI-AEL) increased by 1.6 per cent in the same period, hence the electricity prices including grid rent reducing the growth in the CPI by 1.1 percentage points in the last twelve months.
From May 2011 to May 2012, price falls were also registered for the groups audio visual equipment, telephone services and clothing.
Changed year-to-year growth from April
The year-to-year growth in the CPI went up from 0.3 per cent in April to 0.5 per cent May 2012. The main contributor was airline fares, which increased by 11.5 per cent from April to May this year, while falling 23.6 per cent in the same period last year. A stronger price growth measured for food from April to May 2012 compared to in the same period in 2011 also contributed to pulling up the year-to-year- growth.
The steeper fall in electricity prices including grid rent registered from April to May this year than for the corresponding period last year had a dampening effect on the year-to-year- growth.
The year-to-year growth in the CPI-ATE was 1.4 per cent in May, up 0.7 percentage points from April 2012. This was mainly due to the aforementioned changes in airline fares and food prices.