According to Statistics Sierra Leone (SSL), on Thursday 30th July 2020, the monthly consumer price inflation for June 2020 rose by 0.29%, a slight upward move by 0.03 percentage point from 0.26% in May 2020. Director of National Account and Economic Statistics Division, Statistics Sierra Leone, Mwaluma Andrew Bryma Gegbe said the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is the average price level of all goods and services consumed in a country. He disclosed that CPI targets selected goods referred to as “basket of the country”. “Our basket in Sierra Leone is made up of over 400 goods,” he added.
He said statistics collects weekly and monthly prices, which are averaged and computed to be able to ascertain what on average the price level would be. “The change in the average price commodity is what we refer to as inflation.”
He said the CPI measures the inflation (the change in the Consumer Price Index) rate of the country, and indicates if prices are decreasing or increasing, adding, price increase affects the consumption pattern of consumers and households. He went on to say it equally affects producers, because it affects the cost of production, which leads consumers to shift from one product to another, thereby affecting producers in terms of sales.
“It also affects government, which is why government decided that there is an assessment of the CPI, because change in price affects all and sundry.” According to a press release from the institution, the Northern Region showed an upward trend from 9.70% in May 2020 to 11.12% in June 2020.
Meanwhile, the other three regions declined from May to June 2020: Western Area from 20% to 17.29%, Southern Region from 14.59% to13.54% and Eastern Region from 13.22% to 12.32%. Annual National Consumer Price Inflation (year-on-year) went down by 1.11 percentage point from 15.47% in May 2020 to 14.36% in June 2020. The release further stated that annual (year-on-year) consumer price inflation for food and non-alcoholic beverages increased from 16.60% in May 2020 to 16.94% in June 2020.
Some other key findings by SSL for the same period are:
Inflation rate increased by 0.34 percentage point annually (year-on-year);
Alcoholic beverages, tobacco and narcotics increased from 4.44% to 5.83%;
Clothing and footwear declined by 0.43 percentage point from 8.29% to 7.86%;
Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels increased from 5.69% to 5.83%;
Furniture, household equipment and household maintenance declined by 1.46 percentage point from 0.28% to -1.18%;
Health declined by 11.83 percentage points from 33.61% to 21.78%;
Transport increased from 11.86% to 15%;
The inflation rate increased by 3.14 percentage point year-on-year;
Communication increased from -1.30% to -1.29%;
Recreation and culture increased from 2.90% to 5.94%;
The inflation rate increased by 3.04 percentage point year-on-year;
Education increased from 53.41% to 68.67%;
The inflation rate increased by 15.26 percentage point year-on-year;
Restaurants and hotels increased from 27.90% to 28.65%;
The inflation rate increased by 0.75 percentage point year-on-year;
Miscellaneous goods and services increased from 6.44% to 8.87% and;
The inflation rate increased by 2.43 percentage point year-on-year.
By Sulaiman Karim Sesay