Lower vegetable prices led to lower inflation in Mauritius; new council to monitor prices
The main reason for the net decrease in the CPI from March to June 2015 was a 46.9% decline in vegetable prices; also, a new council, the National Price Consultative Council (NPCC), has been set up recently by the government of Mauritius with more power to fight against abusive price practices.(Image:news.islandcrisis.net)
Mauritius saw a net decrease of 2.9 points or 2.6% in its Consumer Price Index (CPI) to 107.2 points in June 2015 and, on a monthly basis, the CPI decreased by 0.1 points in April, 2.7 points in May and by 0.1 points in June, according to data released by Statistics Mauritius.
The main reason for the net decrease in the CPI from March to June 2015 was lower prices of vegetables which dropped by 46.9% to partly offset higher prices of fish by 3.9%, fruits by 7.7%, meat by 1.6% and trader’s rice by 2.4%.
Decreases were also noted in prices under the‘Communication’ category, with the 0.9% decline traced to lower prices of internet access by 3.0% and mobile phones by 1.3%.
Accordingly, prices atrestaurants and hotels dipped by 0.4% mainly due to lower rates for accommodation in hotels. Besides, lower prices of information processing equipment and audio visual equipment led a drop to the ‘Recreation and Culture’ category by 0.5%.
Prices that recorded a rise during the period under review were mainly in the categories of ‘Alcoholic beverages and tobacco’ by 3.0%, ‘Clothing and footwear’ by 0.7%, ‘Health’ by 0.4%, ‘Transport’ by 0.5%, and ‘Furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance’ by 2.4%.
The headline inflation rate was 3.2% for the year 2014 compared to 3.5% for year 2013 and the rate excluding ‘Alcoholic beverages and tobacco’ was 2.9% for year 2014 compared to 2.5% for year 2013.
Additionally, in a related development, it is to be noted that a new council, the National Price Consultative Council,has been set up by Mauritius’Ministry of Industry,Commerce and Consumer Protection to investigate abusive price practices.
This authority will have a more elaborate role that its predecessor, the price monitoring watchdog, which had for its mission to establish and make public prices prevailing in various supermarkets and hypermarkets.
For example, the newly established council will have the power to question prices charged even by a trader who sells fish by the roadside. The officers can require the seller to justify the selling price through the provision of documents from suppliers.