PRICES UP IN THE MARSHALL ISLANDS

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MAJURO, Marshall Islands (Yokwe, Dec. 17) - The Marshall Islands had an annualized inflation rate of 5-6 percent for 2007, according to the Consumer Price Index report released this week by the Economic Policy, Planning and Statistics Office.

Food and Housing Group prices were the top leaders in consumer costs during the fourth quarter of 2007. Transportation costs rose this last quarter with the average fuel price for Majuro slightly increased from US$4.45 per gallon 3rd quarter 2007 to US$4.75 per gallon 4th quarter 2007.

During the 4th quarter of 2007, there was a price difference in the Consumer Price Index Basket of 20.9 percent between the two urban centers of the Marshall Islands, Majuro and Ebeye. This quarter, there was a slight decrease in the price gap for the same basket of goods for Majuro and Ebeye.

Comparison of a basket of goods for CPI was US$130.00 for Majuro, with the same basket costing US$157.97 in Ebeye. This quarter, there was a slight decrease in the price gap for the same basket of goods for Majuro and Ebeye.

Majuro's CPI of 119.00 is an increase of 1.18 percent for the 4th quarter 2007 compared to 2.15 percent growth for 3rd quarter 2007. The CPI for the same period on Ebeye was 106.14, an increase in the price index of 1.74 percent

Majuro had an annualized CPI inflation rate of 5.3 percent for 2007, while Ebeye's CPI inflation was at 6.14 percent.

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