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4% increase over 4th quarter 2010

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Jan. 6, 2012) – The purchasing power of the dollar dropped in the last quarter of 2011 to 87 cents compared to the last quarter of 2007, according to the latest consumer price index report.

Compared to 1996, the purchasing power of $1 on Guam has become increasingly smaller, at 59 cents, according to the Guam index.

The index, released by the Bureau of Statistics and Plans yesterday, shows a 1.5-percent increase over the third quarter of last year and a 4-percent increase over the fourth quarter of 2010.

Last quarter also saw an increase of 1.6 percent in food prices, 4.5 percent in housing and 5.5 percent in recreation compared to the third quarter.

All other groups showed modest changes, while energy prices and services increased by 4.7 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively.

The Consumer Price Index is a measure of the average change in prices -- over time -- of goods and services purchased by households. The index is compared to the 2007 base year.

Due to the timing of the price surveys, the report excludes the effects due to the infusion of income tax refunds into the island's economy in December, according to a press release from the bureau.

Thousands of island residents received almost $200 million in past-due tax refunds in early December. The money came from a $235 million bond that Gov. Eddie Calvo's administration borrowed in November, according to Pacific Daily News files.

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