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Puerto Rico’s Consumer Price Index up 1.4% in April vs. 2020

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Puerto Rico’s most recent Consumer Price Index report showed a 1.4% year-over-year increase in April, the Puerto Rico Economic Development Bank confirmed.

“This report is revealed as part of the efforts of the EDB’s Center for Economic Studies to keep small and medium-sized businesses, entrepreneurs and investors informed and also to support decision-making,” said EDB President Luis Alemañy.

The highest interannual increases in the CPI by main group correspond to the categories of food and beverage (1.4%), clothing (2.1%) and transportation (3%).

The increase in the price of gasoline, the subgroup of fuel for motor vehicles and others (9.8%) and the increase in the public transportation (11.5%) subgroup specifically airfares, are in line with an increase in prices in the transportation category,” said Alemañy.

Disruptions in the food distribution chain during the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted the price of fresh meat, which was reflected in the meat, poultry, fish and egg subcategory, which is under the main food and beverage category, he said.

The EDB’s analysis showed that with more money circulating in the economy and interest rates at low levels, financial, business and individual decisions regarding saving, borrowing and investing, can positively affect the island’s economy.

“However, it remains to be seen if the jobs that are yet to be recovered and the income constraints that this entails for individuals, and that cause more money to be spent on essential goods and services such as food, fuel and shelter, will cause an increase in the longer term the prices within these categories,” said Alemañy.

He warned that the interannual comparisons are analyzed taking into account that they are made against an irregular period, which is not governed by the same seasonal factors as other years.

“We’re one year since the strictest measures effected by the local and federal governments to control COVID-19 infections were effected,” he said.

The CPI is an indicator that serves as a tool to measure changes in the prices that consumers pay for the purchase of goods and services, between two specific periods of time.

This group of items and services is known as the basket of goods and services, which is made up of more than 500 categories, organized into eight main groups: food and beverage; accommodations; clothing; transportation; medical care; entertainment; education and communication; and other items and services.

Inflation is defined as the tendency for the prices of goods and services to rise over time. If prices increase, the purchasing power of money decreases.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.
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