The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the month of March 2021 increased by 9.11 percent from March 2020 and month-on-month CPI increased by 0.50 percent from February 2021.
According to the CPI, March 2021 which was published by National Statistics Bureau, the prices of goods and services as measured by CPI in March 2021 has increased by 9.11 percent from March 2020.
The increase slowed by 0.43 percentage point as compared to February which recorded 9.54 percent increase. The increase in March is due to increase in food prices which went up by 15.25 percent.
While within the food group, prices of betel nut and betel leaves recorded the highest increase with 43.97 percent followed by meat prices which went up by 36.56 percent; and fish and vegetables with 26.54 percent and 21.04 percent respectively.
For non-food, the CPI shows that prices have increased by 4.16 percent, up by 0.56 percentage point from February which is due to increase in transport and housing and utilities.
Similarly, the month-on-month prices increased by 0.50 percent due to increase in alcoholic beverages and narcotics which include betel nut and betel leaves by 2.57 percent, followed by transport with 0.82 percent and housing and utilities by 0.56 percent.
Meanwhile, the purchasing power of Ngultrum (PPN) as measured by CPI is Nu 64 as of March 2021 compared to December 2012. This means, Nu 100 in March 2021 is worth only Nu 64 at December 2012 prices. The PPN has dropped by 8.35 percent in the past 12 months which is from March 2020 to March 2021 due to price increase in the economy.
The CPI is a measure of average price changes in the basket of goods and services purchased by households over time. It shows how much, on average, prices of goods and services have increased or decreased from a particular reference period, commonly known as the Index reference.
The CPI covers the goods and services consumed by the households and a sample of goods and services are selected using the household expenditure data to measure the inflation experienced by the households. Prices of the sampled goods and services are collected from urban areas in 20 Dzongkhags on monthly, quarterly and annual frequency depending on the price volatility of the items.
The outlets for data collection are selected based on purposive sampling considering the popularity of the outlet and availability of the items. CPI baskets has a total of 113 items (314 varieties) classified according to Classification of Individual Consumption According to Purpose (COICOP). Total of about 450 outlets are selected for pricing.
The price reference is the period for which the prices are used as denominator for the index calculation. The price reference period for CPI is April 2019. Index reference period is the period for which the index is set as 100. The index reference period is April 2019.