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DIGEST: Cost of living still going up... but less aggressively

DIGEST: Cost of living still going up... but less aggressively

Friday 26 January 2024

DIGEST: Cost of living still going up... but less aggressively

Friday 26 January 2024


Islanders may still be feeling the pinch from an increased cost of living, but believe it or not, the inflation rate has actually dropped over 2023.

During the 12 months to December 2023, the Retail Prices Index (RPI) for Jersey increased by 7.5% – down from the inflation figure of 10.1% reported in September 2023.

Inflation rose to double digits for the first time in three decades back in September 2022.

Today's stats show costs are still rising, but at a much slower rate than they have been in previous years – in fact, in what may be a sigh of relief for many, it's the first time the rate has been in single digits in more than a year.

The latest Retail Price Index (RPI) report, released this morning by Statistics Jersey, also shows a 5.2% drop from the annual rate of inflation of 12.7% measured in December 2022.

Housing remains the highest driver of inflation, but even this is starting to show a sharp decrease, from 26.2% to 16.7%.

The recent stall in the housing market, and a slight relief for mortgage rates, could have contributed to that decrease.

The latest statistics at a glance...

Still going up (but a bit more slowly)

Housing ↑ 16.7%

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This category includes Parish rates, rents, and mortgage interest payments – the latter were affected by increases in the Bank of England Bank Rate over the last 12 months and contributed most to the rise.

Food ↑ 5.9%

Fares & other travel ↑ 6.6%

Leisure services ↑ 10.6%

Impôt duties went up in January 2023, which Statistics Jersey observed had contributed to the overall annual change.

Going down...

Fuel and light ↓ 2.2%

Personal goods and services  ↓ 1.1%

Impact on vulnerable islanders

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The report also looks at how vulnerable islanders – such as pensioners and those on low incomes – are faring.

Known as RPI Pensioners, the specific measure for older islanders calculates the rate as if affects pensioner households, while RPI Low Income calculates how it affects those in the lowest fifth of household income.

Over the 12 months to December 2023, RPI Pensioners increased by 5.1%

RPI Low Income, meanwhile, increased by 4.7%.

While these rates are both decreases from the last report, those on the lowest incomes will still be facing rising costs as we head in 2024.

How do we compare to the UK?

According to the report, the rate of inflation in Jersey over the 12 months to December 2023 was 3.3% higher than in the UK.

The report noted: "Both indices saw large contributions from the group relating to Housing.

"The Jersey RPI contains a component for mortgage interest payments, which are affected by changes in the Bank of England Bank Rate. Instead, the UK CPIH uses a rental equivalence method, which is less directly affected."

READ MORE...

DIGEST: Is inflation pressure finally starting to ease?

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