By all measures of any accounting firm Phuket based and based on recent economic data, Phuket continues to reign as the most expensive consumer province in Thailand doubling the national average of inflation rate.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI-P) report for October 2012 was recently published by the Phuket Commerce Office, as collaborated by the Phuket provincial government and the Commerce Ministry’s Information Office and Bureau of Trade and Economic Indices. As interpreted by many accounting services Phuket based, such report clearly confirms Phuket’s inflation rate soaring to an incredible rate that surpasses the national average.
Said report for Phuket surveys 256 consumer goods and services ranging from food, apparel, beverages, vehicles, housing, personal healthcare, transportation, entertainment, communications, media, religion, tobacco, education and alcohol. A comparison of the 2012 prices against the 2007 prices as a base year, Phuket’s CPI-P rose to 126.6 points last month. This means that the overall cost of living in Phuket has jumped by 26.6% over the last five years, which translates to an average inflation rate of 5.3% per annum. The national 5-year inflation rate average of 16.8% or the equivalent 3.3% per annum is definitely lower than Phuket’s.
Many financial advisory firms in Phuket noted a minor relief in the short run when October’s CPI-P declined for a month-on-month, from September by 0.4 percentage points, despite Phuket’s prices’ continuous upward trend. However, October’s CPI-P still jumped by 5.1 percentage points year-on-year from October 2011. Additionally, the first ten months of 2012 compared with the same period for 2011 showed that the CPI-P rise was even higher, peaking by 5.9 percentage points. Hence, Phuket’s inflation rate is double that of the national inflation rate over the same period which is at 2.9%.
Month-on-Month Comparative Analysis
October 2012 vs September 2012
The CPI-P dropped by 0.4% in October, 2012 from the CPI-P rate in September 2012. This was caused by the falling prices of food and beverage items at 0.9% while the non-food/beverage items increased by only 0.1% on the average. The drop in the food and beverage items’ prices from September to October resulted from the steady prices of the same items from August to September. The drop was calculated from price cuts measured in select categories, namely: rice @ -0.6%; pork ribs @ -1.2%; raw and grilled chicken @ -2.5%, and chicken eggs @ -0.3%. These price cuts were attributed to more than sufficient supply than demand for such items during the vegetarian festival.
Other goods or items that showed price reductions are tangerines with an 11.6% drop in prices and food condiments such as fish sauce showing a drop of 1.9% in its prices.
On the other hand, the items that were seen an increase in price for the same period included flour and tofu which increased by 0.3%; various types of seafood including silver pomfret fish, squid, cockles, sea crabs and salted mackerel and tuna, which all increased by an average 2%, and fresh vegetables and fruits, including kale, cucumbers, morning glory, coriander, onion, cabbage, chili, peanuts, pineapples, rambutan, mango and watermelon, which jumped its prices by 12.9% on average.
Such inflation was caused mainly by high demand against scarce supply due to the Vegetarian Festival, and due to the adverse effects of heavy rainfall this year on the nationwide crop supplies. On the other hand, the prices of non-food/beverage items rose on average by 0.1%, as compared to the previous month-on-month comparison period, when the category experienced a rise of 0.5%, the increase of which are as follows: barber and salon services increased @ 0.4%; housing related costs such as utilities, construction materials, cement, bricks and painter fees rose by 0.2%; transport, vehicles and communications increased by 0.1%; and lastly, petrol increasing by 0.3%.
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