Further, the Minister explained, “Some price data used to produce the CPI index was not collected in July 2020 due to some unavailable goods and services and non-response from open stores (Table 1). As a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), in-person field collection was suspended and, where possible, prices were collected via alternative methods such as online and email. Two of the nine sectors in July 2020 had missing prices which were imputed, Food and Transport & Foreign Travel. Table 2 provides July 2020, June 2020 and July 2019 outlets and price collection methods metadata for comparison. All missing prices were imputed by targeted mean imputation and the carry forward method.”
The Rent sector (-3.3 per cent) impacted strongly on the annual rate of inflation as properties not subject to rent control contracted 7.6 per cent year-over-year. The Transport & Foreign Travel and Fuel & Power sectors also impacted strongly on the annual rate of inflation, as price declines in these sectors were 8.7 per cent and 5.8 per cent, respectively.
Between June 2020 and July 2020 the Rent sector was down 0.4 per cent as the average cost of properties not subject to rent control decreased 1.1 per cent in July. The Transport & Foreign Travel sector slipped 1.9 per cent. The average price of automobiles and premium gasoline fell 4.3 per cent and 4.2 per cent, respectively. The Fuel & Power sector declined 3.4 per cent in response to a drop in the fuel adjustment clause (-10.3 per cent) in July.
The July 2020 Consumer Price Index is available online at www.gov.bm/bermuda-business-statistics.