The Composite Consumer Price Index (CPI), a key measure of inflation, increased last month by 3.02 percent year-on-year to 108.03, down by 0.29 percentage points from the 3.31 percent year-on-year growth observed in March, according to new information released by the Statistics and Census Service (DSEC).
For the 12 months ended April 2016, the average Composite CPI increased by 4.09 percent from the previous 12-month period. Composite CPI reflects the impact of price changes on general households.
A statement from DSEC accredited the year-on-year increment to higher rentals for parking spaces, rising charges for eating out and dearer prices of motor vehicles and tobacco, as in the previous month.
In particular DSEC made reference to the growth in tobacco tax, tuition fees, and the prices of motor vehicles in driving up the price index of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco, Education, and Transport, which increased by 37.15 percent, 8.98 percent and 7.6 percent respectively.
Meanwhile the price index of Clothing and Footwear, and Communication declined by 3.48 percent and 0.93 percent respectively.
Month-to-month, the CPI in April edged up by 0.03 percent compared with March, led by an increase in the price index for Clothing and Footwear (+2.18 percent) and Transport (+0.58 percent), but mitigated by Housing and Fuels (-0.47 percent), Recreation and Culture (-0.29 percent) and Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages (-0.22 percent), among other categories.
Meanwhile the average Composite CPI for the first four months of 2016 increased by 3.5 percent year-on-year, with the price index of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco, Education, and Transport rising by 38.2 percent, 8.94 percent and 6.95 percent respectively.
A customer browses apples at a store in Macau
Mainland Chinese have toned down their spending, shelling out 1,762 patacas (USD220) per person in the first quarter on non-gambling purchases, down almost a third from 2014. That’s bad news for casino operators as they shift focus to casual gamblers and tourists to lift revenue from hotels, retail and conventions amid a two-year gambling slump. Chinese still make up about two-thirds of Macau’s visitors, even as their numbers last year fell for the first time since 2009 and eased a further 1 percent in the first four months of this year, according to data released Monday.