Fuel spending increased by 30%, consumer prices increased by 3.4% – Nassau Guardian

Average consumer prices rose 3.4% in the first quarter of 2022, and global market volatility increased fuel spending across the country by more than 30%, according to the latest data provided by the Central Bank of the Bahama (CBOB). Did. activity.

Inflation is projected to rise to 7% in the Bahamas this year, but the risk of stagflation in the United States has led to prices among economists after the Federal Reserve raised the federal funds rate by 0.75%. There are concerns. It can be even higher in the short to medium term. Stagflation is a situation where inflation is high, economic growth is slowing, and the unemployment rate is steadily high.

The Federal Reserve said it expects benchmark rates to rise to 3.4 percent by the end of this year to offset high inflation.

For the Bahamas, whose closest trading partner is experiencing an economic tailwind, that means even higher prices in the coming months. The central bank reported an increase in all major categories of the consumer price index.

“After recording each reduction in the previous year, the average cost of transportation increased by 12.5% ​​and the average cost of communications increased by 11.4%. Similarly, in contrast to the previous year’s decrease, housing, water and gas. , The average price of electricity and other fuels (the most important factor) rose 2.5%, and the average price of education rose 2.1%, “the Central Bank said quarterly. March economic review.

“In addition, average inflation in clothing and footwear (5.8%), alcoholic beverages, tobacco and narcotics (5.1%), health (4%), food and non-alcoholic beverages (3.3%), restaurants and hotels (2.9%). Accelerated.) And equipment, household equipment and daily household maintenance (2.6%). With moderate offset, the average cost of other products and services decreased by 1.8% from 3.3% in the previous year. In addition, the average reduction in recreation and culture costs has increased from 1.5% in the previous year to 4.4%. “

The rise in prices is supported by an increase in the country’s estimated trade deficit of commodities, which increased by $ 25.5 million (4.5%) to $ 597.9 million in the first quarter of 2022.

Overall, imports were up 15.3% to $ 771.8 million and exports were up 78.9% to $ 173.9 million.

“A further breakdown of trade flows showed that fuel payments increased by 30.3 percent to $ 218.7 million due to rising international oil prices. Regarding fuel types, aviation. The average cost per barrel of gas oil has skyrocketed to $ 176.72, “says CBOB.

“Similarly, the average price increase per barrel of crude oil was up 43.2% to $ 94.04. Kerosene jet fuel was up 40.1% to $ 102.84. Propane was up 11.6% to $ 70.79 and motor gas was up 20.4%. $ 104.30. However, the cost of bunker c fuel remained at $ 57.45 per barrel compared to 2021. “

Data on fuel costs were obtained earlier this week because oil retailers said they had reached a critical point of return and many said they were spending almost twice as much on gasoline.

Guardian business I understand that the government met with a gas retailer yesterday to reach a resolution. Fuel spending increased by 30%, consumer prices increased by 3.4% – Nassau Guardian

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