COST OF ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO INCREASES IN COOK ISLANDS

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By Alex Sword

RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (December 29, 1999 – Cook Islands News)---The price of alcohol and tobacco in the Cook Islands rose 2.6% between the June and September quarter 1999 according to a Ministry of Finance and Economic Management's (MFEM) Statistics Office bulletin released this month.

The price of food went up 1% during that period, with the largest contribution coming from soft drinks, sweets, farm products, fats and oil products.

Government Statistician Taggy Tangimetua says there was a minor change in housing costs, and household operation costs were up .03% due to price increases in home furnishings and household appliances.

There was no change in the cost of apparel (clothes) and the increase for transportation was 0.4% due to increases in motor vehicle expenses.

Over all for the September quarter there was an increase of 0.9% when compared to the previous quarter for the year.

INFLATION RATE

The annual rate of inflation, measured by the change from the same quarter of the previous year, was 2.0%.

The Statistics Office says it has now compiled a measure of "underlying inflation" consistent with the practice adopted in many other countries.

In the September quarter the "underlying Consumer Price Index" recorded a rise of 0.8% from the June quarter.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is an indicator or measure of price changes.

EXCLUDES

The Cook Islands' measure of "underlying inflation" excludes all locally produced fruit, vegetables, meat and fish, international airfares, mortgage interest, government rents, postal and telecommunications charges, electricity charge, tobacco and alcohol, petrol and diesel.

For additional reports from the Cook Islands News, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Cook Islands News.

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