Cost of living rises reflected in price index

| 19/09/2013

(CNS): Few people living in Cayman need to be told that life is getting increasingly expensive, so the official confirmation that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the quarter ending June this year increased to a whopping 2.7% compared to the quarter ending June 2012 will not be a surprise. This time last year the CPI stood at just 0.9%. However, the significant jump in the index at a time which the economy is barely growing is not as a result of groceries or fuel, as many may think, but is because of the rise health insurance following the introduction of a new basic plan, the increase in education fees for non-Caymanian students and tax increases on tobacco.

In contrast, there was a decline in the price index for housing and utilities, as actual rentals were lower on average during the period compared to a year ago.

“This inflation rate is not unexpected as higher charges for items such as health insurance and tertiary education were implemented during the period,” stated Finance and Economic Development Minister Marco Archer. Health insurance premiums were adjusted upwards as a result of expanded benefits while higher tertiary education fees were charged to non-Caymanian students. 

The price index for alcohol and tobacco also increased by 13.3 percent, mainly because of higher duty rates on tobacco which came into effect in September last year.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages also increased by 3.7 percent as all groups recorded price increases except for fish. The increase was led by vegetables (9.7%), fruits  (8.8%), meat and meat products (4.2%), milk, cheese and egg (4.1%) and coffee, tea and cocoa (3.3%). In addition, the ESO report shows upward trends in electricity, gas and other fuels by 2.8 percent.

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  1. Anonymously says:

    Bring in the Chinese and give then status we need competition and people with money to live and invest.  Cayman needs a population of 500k and the Chinese have the money, education and skills that way the money will stay here and not go to build up someone else's economy if we give them status, they will grow the economy and will br no need for expat workers.  The USA is doing it now so why not Cayman?

  2. UH UH UH says:

    Went into  one of the larger supermarkets the other day to get a news paper, and on my way to the news paper stand I noticed a bin with some"ORGANIC" bread rolls {in packages of two} and decided to try some.  But upon picking them up I nearly fell over! The price label said $7.99 thats right! SevenDollars and Ninety Nine Cents, for two rolls. I went directly to the Manager and asked if this was an error of some sort or was this the price, he said the label is correct and there was no mistake. Upon hearing  I told him then and there that I would do exactly what I'm doing here today expressing my disgust, and telling to everyone I know.

    Strangely enough, the next day the label had changed to $5.49. Which I still think is still too much.

    Anyhow what I think we need here in cayman is, a Consumer Protection Agency that protects us all from greedy businesses including Government.  Some time ago I was told by a shelf stocker in another store, that they up the price on many items by a few cents on a weekly basis.


  3. Anonymous says:

    Grocery store prices here are outrageous. A tube of tooth paste here was over CI$4.00, while the same tube is US$.99 at Target. Forget about the prices on refrigerated goods. I know you have to ship it here, pay duty and make a profit, but damn!

    On the contrarary, Hardware stores here are pretty reasonable. Lumber and plywood prices are usually within 15% of Miami prices, I got a fridge at Thompson's cheaper than at Lowes and shipping it myself, plus I got a warranty. 

  4. Anonymous says:

    don't worry the ppm are going to do something, soon, maybe………..zzzzzzzz

  5. Knot S Smart says:

    It cost the customer $504 for government to take a 20 ft container off the boat and deliver it to the Port Authority Terminal in Industrial Park.

    The cost of security and unloading is listed as $120, and the real cost of truckage from the port authority at commercial rates is $100 – so therefore the customer is paying $284 more (or 129% more) than the real cost to government.

    So I would suggest that while government is trying to ensure 'value for funds spent' by government,  they should also look at 'value for funds spent' by the customer for government services…

    And my question is – what has the port authority done to improve efficiency, and lower costs,?

    And also may I suggest that a private company could handle this job much more efficiently than government, and thereby reduce government employees and the ultimate tax burden to the people…

    • Anonymous says:

      A privat company might do it more efficiently, but charge triple.

      Thinking that privatising is better, is a myth.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Everything increased except our wages…. 

  7. Anny omis says:

    Hmmm, As so aptly stated by Marge Gunderson in Fargo…”I’m not sure I agree 100% on your police work there Lou.”

    I don’t know what is in the sample grocery basket, but I do know my personal grocery bill has gone up by significantly more than 3.7%. I no longer even buy beef, other than hamburger, and my groceries have gone from $150 to $200 a week. For the same basket products, just no beef. Thats an increase of around 33%, a big difference, Lou.

    Also, if you own, rather than rent, ‘housing & utilities’ bundled have also increased, not fallen. I know my strata went up again this year, as well as my overall utilities cost.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, and can you believe they say the price of fish has not increased at all.  It really makes me doubt all the figures when they say this.

  8. Anonymous says:

    And let's not forget the nearly 100% increase vehcile license fee! Paid $225 last year and now paid $440.

  9. Anonymous says:

    A 2% inflation rate is the average for North America over the last 20 years. So the increase is only 0.7% over the average. In other words, it's not just Cayman that's more expensive even though knowing so doesn't make it any more pleasant.

  10. Anonymously says:

    This is the free market at work, no taxes what more do you expect cost of living expenses like in third world economies?  Get a grip of your self you can't have your cake and eat it too. Increase work permit fees x 5 this should help the economy.




    • Anonymous says:

      16.00 I nominate you for the "Brain of Cayman" award! Put the work permit fees up five times? No business is going to pay that, they will all pack up, leave and go somewhere where the fees are cheaper, taking their staff with them, and those left will have to pay even more for food (smaller quantities to ship in-higher cost) and then have to pay tax as well as the govenrment loses its revenue. Perfect solution. Wonder why it has not happened.

      • Anonymous says:

        That was probably the poster's hope

      • Anonymously says:

        Chicken Little the sky is falling, yes I can see you taking your staff and business to a cheaper destination to do business.  How about? to the USA, Canada, Bermuda, Monaco, Bahamas, Germany!  oh no, these are first world countries and those that don't have direct taxation the cost of living and doing business is much greater than Cayman expecially the cost to import labour then again why not leave and go to China and India I know of a fact that it's less expensive to do business there.  Go now and take your entourage with you and see just how many Caymanians will starve and how much revenue the government will lose. For ever one there is always two to five waiting in line, NEXT! I have never seen the immigration department open and empty since 1970.

    • Anonymous says:

      "no taxes" ?! You must be living on a different island. At least in other Countries you dont pay taxes unless you make a profit. Here, you pay taxes up front before you even get your door open for business. This has a huge impact on the cost of groceries where loss and shrinkage wouldnormally be expensed and written off before taxes. Here, taxes done been paid on everything purchased.

    • Anny omis says:

      Watch out CNS readers, we have a rocket scientist in our midst! (Or has Mac gone anon)? The counrties problems have all been solved by our sage poster 16:00! Just raise the fees to businesses 500%! Fab idea! As we live in a vacuum (of sanity) I am sure that won’t have any economic repercussions. Duh.

      • Anonymously says:

        Duh, some businesses can raise their cost by more than 500% per year in some instances and its justified but its insanity when and if government should increase its fees because the current price of a work permit is disproportionately less than the expenditure thatgovernment must spend to accommodate one permits holder and their dependant.  Have you genius given a thought as to how much it cost govt in expenditure to maintain the good roads that you and the expats use daily and other essential services that would cost much less if it was only used by the local population.  I tell you one thing if the government knew just how special this country was they would have made it exclusive like Monaco a long time ago in that you pay for what you get and business don't run the show there yet more millionaires live there than any other place in the world. That is class for you why don't you try living there with your empty briefcase and an apple that you brought here to con some unsuspecting native into going into business with you who had nothing but your ability to con honest people.  We are now aware of your kind but it might be too late as you probably got status or PR  but I leave you to the next generation, soon you will be like the bow weivle looking for another home if you haven't found one as yet. I doubt it will be Monaco or Bermuda because they are prepared for your kind.




      • Anonymously says:

        Tell you what we will drop the WP to 100.00 and 50.00 KYD across the board import 500,000 Chinese Investors and employees (incl dependents) in all categories give them automatic status and PR send ever other non Caymanian packing this would solve all our social and economic woes.  How about that? two problems solved with one solution, hopefully that will be the last that we will hear of you poster 19:13.  The remedy for the snakes were the mongoose maybe the solution for people like you will be the Chinese and to be honest I can hardly wait for their expertise, money and years of knowledge and wisdom.  The scientist.

    • Anonymous says:

      Buddy last timei checked govt was going to collect some 600 million worth of taxes.  What planet do you live on?

      increase work permit fees? We need to make businesses more competitive by reducing taxes to attract investment otherwise even Fosters food fair will relocate somewhere else.

      • Anonymously says:

        For what Cayman offers 600 million in taxes is nothing.  I live on planet earth, why not try Monaco and see what it would cost you to live and operate a business there.

    • Anonymous says:

      The first sentence makes sense.  The second sentence does not.  I think the first sentence was an accident, given how stupid the second sentence is.  I bet this poster likes Ezzard.

      • Anonymously says:

        Yes this poster loves, loves Ezzard only thing he is not radical enough he shoul be more like Mr Orman of yesteryear and I would kiss his ring and sit at his feet, so now you know it! 

  11. Anonymous says:

    What happen to our 3.2% and more cig?

  12. Anonymous says:

    The nice thing about earning a lot of money is that while you never notice cost of living increases you can use the index as the basis to ask for even more money next year.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Looking at a fairly stable, even decreasing price of fuel, it strikes me that most of these increases are about rich store owners wanting to get even richer at our expense. I think we need investigators from UK or US over here looking into possible Cartel arrangements on pricing and excess profit taking..

    • Anonymous says:

      As a local retail store owner, I wish it were so. We have been subjected to cost increases across the board. It is a struggle to turn any sort of profit, much less an excessive one. Investigators are welcome. What they will tell you is that the cost of doing business in the Cayman Islands is "excessive". 

      • Anonymous says:

        Which is why the 60% rule should go to allow inward investment by large retailers who can use economies of scale to deliver goods and services more efficiently.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well then…..prove it by bringing on the investigators….we know that's never going to happen!

    • Anonymous says:

      You don't need any investigation.  The limits on access to the market for new entrants caused by the 60% rule and business licensing means that prices are inflated in favor of store owners by oligopolistic pricing.