Sierra Leone: A consumer price index from Statistics Sierra Leone indicates that, for the first time in six years, the inflation rate has gone down by 1.92% to single digits, (8.95%) in March, from 10.87% in February 2021
Monthly inflation on the other hand is 0.84% down by 0.65% from 1.49% in February 2021.
According to Statistics (SL), three regions show downward movements: Eastern region moved from 11.96 percent in February 2021 to 8.57 percent in March 2021; Southern region moved from 11.98 percent in February 2021 to 10.59 percent in March 2021 and Northern region from 15.64 percent in February, 2021 to 9.93 percent in March 2021. The only increase was in the Western region, which increased from 7.55 percent in February 2021 to 7.90 percent in March 2021.
Also, Statistics Sierra Leone disclosed in its CPI that the month of March indicates a downward trend in the year on-year national inflation rate and is above the estimates of the Western and Eastern regions but below Southern and Northern regional estimates.
Food inflation they said went down by 4.14 percentage points and non-food went down by 0.36%. They also disclosed that alcoholic beverage, tobacco and narcotics increased from 8.27% in February 2021 to 9.98 percent in March 2021, an increase of 1.71%. Transport also increased from 4.87 percent in February 2021 to 6.21 percent in March 2021, (an increase of 1.34% year-on-year).
On the other hand, food and non-alcoholic beverages declined by 4.14 percentage points from 19.59 percent in February 2021 to 15.45 percent in March 2021. Communication declined by 7.66 percentage points from 10.91 percent in February 2021 to 3.25 percent in March 2021.
The national Consumer Price Index (CPI) is the measure of the average price level of selected goods and services in the country. The inflation rate is the percentage change between the CPIs of any two periods; which could be monthly, 3-monthly or 12-monthly also known as year-on-year (YOY).
The YOY rate is mostly considered for economic decision making and macroeconomic analyses because it compares current situation with one year back. Inflation rate is important because it affects the consumption pattern of consumers, production cost of producers and policies of government and development partners.
Director of National Account, and Economic Statistics Division, Statistics Sierra Leone, Mwaluma Andrew Bryma Gegbe, said, the Consumer Price Index is the average price level of all the goods and services we consume in the country. He disclosed that the CPI targets selected good which are referred to as the basket of the country. “Our basket in Sierra Leone is made up of over four hundred (400) goods,” he said.
He added that Statistics collects prices weekly and sometimes monthly. The prices are average and competed to be able to ascertain what on average the price level would be. “The change in the average price commodity is what we referred to as inflation,” he added.
He said, the CPI is aimed at measuring the inflation (the change in the consumer price index) rate of the country. He furthered that the CPI indicates whether prices are decreasing or increasing, for if prices are increasing, it affects the consumption pattern of the consumer and the household.
In Sierra Leone, prices are collected for 437 items at the prevailing retail market prices from six (6) markets in Freetown and three (3) markets each in Bo, Kenema, Makeni and Kono for weekly prices. Prices are also collected from other outlets for monthly items whose prices are less likely to fluctuate weekly. =
The formula is used to compute indices and is classified according to the Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP) with 12 functions. SKS/26/04/2021
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