FRENCH POLYNESIA INFLATION HIGHEST IN FOUR YEARS

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Hotels, restaurants hardest hit by 3.4 percent rate

PAPEETE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse,Jan. 17, 2009) – Tahiti's consumer price index (CPI) increased 0.5 percent in December, creating a 2008 inflation rate, as measured by the CPI of 3.4 percent, the highest rate of the past four years, according to the French Polynesia Statistical Institute (ISPF).

The 2007 inflation rate was 1.9 percent after a 2.4 percent rate in 2006 and a 2.3 percent inflation rate in 2005.

The ISPF also reported a 2.9 percent drop in overall employment for the 12 months ending in November. That created an employment situation much lower than the average over the past five years for each of the five sectors measured by the ISPF. It also was the weakest employment situation ever noted, the ISPF reported.

With lower employment rates in all five categories for November, the latest available statistics show that the hotel-restaurant sector was one of the hardest hit. That sector witnessed a 4 percent drop in employment for November, a 6.4 percent drop over the three months ending in November and a 6.7 percent drop over the past 12 months ending in November.

The ISPF noted that November's employment situation was partly due to the closing of a hotel on Bora Bora. That was a reference to the closing of the 54-bungalow Hotel Bora Bora operated by Amanresorts.

The hotel, as much of a world icon as the island that gave it its name, closed last Oct. 1 to be torn down and rebuilt as a smaller, even more deluxe Amanresorts facility in two years. The Hotel Bora Bora, which first opened in 1961, plans to reopen for its 50th anniversary in 2011.

While construction industry employment was down 1.7 percent in November, it dropped 6.1 percent over the three months ending in November and 11.1 percent over the 12 months ending in November. The yearly variation is well below the average for the past five years, the ISPF reported.

Industrial employment was down in November for the fifth straight month. The yearly variation was much lower than the average for the past five years, the ISPF reported.

In the store section, there was a new worsening of employment in November. The yearly variation was much lower than the average for the past five years, the ISPF reported.

As usual in December, international airline fares were substantially higher (up 23.6 percent), which increased the transportation sector of the price index by 2.4 percent over November and created a 4 percent increase for all of 2008.

However, the price of all fuel and butane gas globally dropped 10.7 percent in December, which held down the consumer price index by 0.4 points.

Eliminating the impact of international airfares and fuel prices from the CPI created a 0.3 percent drop in the consumer price index for December compared with the overall 0.5 percent increase.

But prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages increased 4.5 percent for 2008, the biggest increase during the pat 25 years, according to the ISPF. This was attributed to a 1.8 percent increase in fish prices, a 1.8 percent increase in fruit prices and a 0.8 percent increase in vegetable prices.

Tahitipresse: http://www.tahitipresse.pf/index.cfm?lang=2

 

 

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