…𝑨𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝑴𝒂𝒚 2023, 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒑𝒖𝒓𝒄𝒉𝒂𝒔𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒑𝒐𝒘𝒆𝒓 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑵𝒈𝒖𝒍𝒕𝒓𝒖𝒎, 𝒂𝒔 𝒎𝒆𝒂𝒔𝒖𝒓𝒆𝒅 𝒃𝒚 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑪𝑷𝑰, 𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒏𝒅𝒔 𝒂𝒕 𝑵𝒖. 58 𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒑𝒂𝒓𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒐 𝑫𝒆𝒄𝒆𝒎𝒃𝒆𝒓 2012. 𝑻𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒎𝒆𝒂𝒏𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝑵𝒖. 100 𝒊𝒏 𝑴𝒂𝒚 2023 𝒊𝒔 𝒆𝒒𝒖𝒊𝒗𝒂𝒍𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝑵𝒖. 58 𝒂𝒕 𝑫𝒆𝒄𝒆𝒎𝒃𝒆𝒓 2012 𝒑𝒓𝒊𝒄𝒆𝒔
In a recent report by the National Statistics Bureau, it has been revealed that consumer goods and services experienced a notable surge in prices during May 2023. A comparison with the same period last year shows an overall increase of 3.40%. Both food and non-food items contributed to this rise, with prices escalating by 3.22% and 3.57% respectively. Among the twelve major divisions, all categories, except for transport and communication, witnessed significant price hikes.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for May 2023 indicates a few noteworthy trends. Transport costs observed a decrease of -3.36%, while communication prices experienced a slight decline of 0.95%. On the other hand, the prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages saw a considerable increase of 3.24%, while housing and utilities surged by a significant 10.35%. Health expenses also witnessed a substantial rise, with an increase of 13.18%.
When examining the month-on-month Consumer Price Index (CPI) in May 2023, a decrease of 0.39% from April 2023 was noted. This decline can be attributed to lower prices observed in both food and non-food categories. Food prices experienced a decline of 0.39%, while non-food prices dropped by 0.54% when compared to March 2023. Furthermore, transport prices decreased by 1.55%, alcoholic beverages and betel nut witnessed a decline of 1.17%, and housing and utilities showed a minor decrease of 0.48%.
Looking back at the trends from the previous year, household goods and services in 2022 witnessed an increase of 5.64%. However, this indicates a decline of 1.71 percentage points compared to the higher increase of 7.35% observed in 2021. The lower rate in 2022 can be attributed to a reduced rate of increase in food items, rising by only 3.95% compared to the 9.38% increase seen in 2021. Food prices accounted for approximately 34% of the overall inflation rate in 2022, while non-food items contributed to 66% of the total increase.
In 2021, food prices were the primary driver of inflation, accounting for nearly 60% of the total increase. Among the twelve major divisions, food and alcoholic beverages contributed to over 33% of the total increase in 2022, followed by transport with approximately 33%, and clothing and footwear with about 13%. Transport recorded the highest increase in 2022, reaching 12.59% among the twelve major groups, while alcoholic beverages and betel nut had the lowest increase at 1.16%. All other divisions experienced an increase, except for communication, which saw a decrease of 1.46%.
As of May 2023, the purchasing power of the Ngultrum, as measured by the CPI, stands at Nu. 58 compared to December 2012. This means that Nu. 100 in May 2023 is equivalent to Nu. 58 at December 2012 prices. The purchasing power of the Ngultrum, measured by CPI, has experienced a decline of 3.29% over the past year (from May 2022 to May 2023) due to price increases in the economy.