The Index of Retail Prices is a weighted average of the proportionate changes in the prices of a specified set or ‘basket’ of consumer goods and services between two periods of time. The RPI monitors the prices of a fixed basket of goods and services in 15 areas (locale) in Trinidad and Tobago. Monthly price surveys are conducted in groceries, shops and local markets for food and petroleum items. Price are collected quarterly for other items that are not as variable.
The data from the Household Budget Survey (HBS) was used to determine:
which items were selected for the basket of items monitored by the RPI;
the weights of these items i.e. their relative importance compared with all other items in the basket and,
the weights of the areas monitored by the RPI
Components and Weights
Changes in the RPI can be used to assess price changes associated with the cost-of-living. The RPI is one of the most frequently used statistics for identifying periods of inflation or deflation.
Data Highlights for April 2022
FOOD AND NON-ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES
The Index for Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages increased from 129.3 in March 2022 to 130.0 in April 2022, reflecting an increase of 0.5%. Contributing significantly to this increase was the general upward movement in the prices of whole chickens – fresh; parboiled rice; other chilled or frozen chicken; table margarine; other edible oil; soya bean oil; eddoes; oranges; whole chickens – frozen; and carite – fresh.
However, the full impact of these price increases was offset by the general decreases in the prices of brown sugar; king fish – fresh; hot peppers; chive; tomatoes; grapes; powdered milk – full cream; bodi; sweet potatoes; and ochroes.
Price changes in this section for the month of April 2022 accounted for a net overall increase of 0.1 point in the All Items Index.
A further review of the data for April 2022 compared with March 2022 reflected increases in the sub-indices for Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels of 1.5%, Furnishings, Household Equipment & Routine Maintenance of the House of 1.2%, Transport of 3.8%, Recreation and Culture of 2.4%, Hotels, Cafes and Restaurants of 2.4%, and Miscellaneous Goods and Services of 0.7%. However, decreases were noted in sub-indices for Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco of 0.2%, Clothing and Footwear of 1.0%, Health of 0.4% and Communication of 0.8%. All other sections remained unchanged.
Price changes in the Other Sections for the month of April 2022 accounted for a net overall increase of 1.4 points in the All Items Index.
Changes in consumer prices in April 2022 compared with those of April 2021 reflected in various sections of the Index are shown hereunder:
Percentage (%) Change in Consumer Prices in April 2022 compared to April 2021
|Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages||8.7|
|Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco||3.4|
|Clothing and Footwear||-0.1|
|Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas & Other Fuels||6.6|
|Water, Electricity, Gas & Other Fuels||0.0|
|Furnishings, Household equipment and routine maintenance of the house||4.4|
|Recreation and Culture||-0.2|
|Hotels, Cafés and Restaurants||4.5|
|Miscellaneous Goods and Services||1.8|
|Source: Central Statistical Office|
Index number in statistics is the measurement of change in a variable or variables across a determined period.
The base period refers to the reference period (month) in which the index number series begins to be calculated. It is therefore the period in which the index is set to 100.0.
The weights reflect the relative importance of the goods and services as measured by their shares in the total items in the basket.
Retail Prices Data Tables
Retail Price Index (All items)
Base: January 2015=100
Inflation Rate (%)
The Rate of Inflation as calculated by the Central Statistical Office (Trinidad and Tobago), is measured by the percentage change in the average All Items Index (RPI) for the current period e.g. January to April 2022 over the previous period e.g. January to April 2021.
Keywords: rpi, retail prices, inflation rate, CPI, index of retail prices
Methodology and Usefulness
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