Inflation, as measured by the change in the National Consumer Price Index (NCPI), has decreased to a negative 0.7 per cent in January 2016 from a positive 4.2 per cent in December 2015, on year-on-year basis, official statistics released last week showed. According to the Department of Census and Statistics, this was mainly due to the higher base of the corresponding period in 2015. Annual average NCPI inflation decreased to 2.9 per cent in January 2016 from 3.8 per cent recorded in December 2015.

NCPI decreased by 1.1 per cent from December 2015 to January 2016. This monthly decrease was mainly due to the decrease in prices of the items in the Food and Non Alcoholic Beverages category. Prices of vegetables, green chilies, limes, big onions, potatoes and coconuts decreased during the month.

Meanwhile, prices of fresh fish, dried fish, some varieties of fruits and eggs increased during the month. Prices in Alcoholic Beverages, Tobacco and Narcotics; and Clothing and Footwear sub-categories also increased during January 2016. Meanwhile, prices in Transport sub-category decreased during January 2016. Prices in Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas, and Other Fuels; Furnishing, Household Equipment and Routine
Household Maintenance; Health; Communication; Recreation and Culture; Education; Restaurants and Hotels; and Miscellaneous Goods and Services sub-categories remained unchanged during the month.