Higher prices on takeaway food, house repairs push up February inflation

Takeaway food, house maintenance and increase in rents push up February retail price index

Prices for private households have been reported to have increased by 7.11% over February 2022, an upward trend that follows the 6.94% in retail price index inflation for January over the same period last year.

The RPI measures monthly price changes in the cost of purchasing a representative basket of consumer goods and services.

The highest annual inflation rates in February 2023 were registered in housing (14.27%) and food (12.19%). On the other hand, the lowest annual inflation rates were registered in water, electricity, gas and fuels (nil) and transport and communication (1.96%.

However, when measured by “impact” – the measure showing the change in inflation as a result of the inclusion of an index – it is food that created the largest upward index on annual inflation (+2.62 percentage points), largely due to higher prices of take-aways.

The second and third largest impacts were measured in the housing index (+1.13 percentage points) and the other goods and services index (+0.65 percentage points), mainly on account of higher prices of house maintenance services and cleaning products, respectively.

On their own, food accounted for 15.6% of the annual RPI increase, while restaurant services and takeaway foods accounted for 5.89% of the total RPI.

But it was the housing index that registered the highest annual inflation rate at 14.27%, of which rent registered an annual rate of 8.85%. Materials for house maintenance registered an annual rate of 13% and services for house maintenance registered an annual rate of 17.39%.