Information from the Statistics and Census Service (DSEC) indicated that the Composite CPI for March 2021 (102.29) went down by 0.97% year-on-year, which was 0.2 percentage points higher than the 0.95% drop in February.
The decrease in the Composite CPI in March was attributed to lower charges for package tours and telecommunication services, as well as falling prices of pork, gasoline and clothing; however, airfares and charges for domestic services and outpatient services registered increase. Among the various sections of goods and services, price indices of Recreation & Culture and Communication fell by 10.27% and 7.80% year-on-year respectively, whereas the indices of Health and Household Furnishings & Services grew by 2.57% and 2.00%. The CPI-A (102.38) and CPI-B (102.16) saw respective decreases of 1.00% and 0.94% year-on-year.
The Composite CPI for March dropped by 0.28% month-to-month. Receding charges for package tours and lower hotel room rates after the Lunar New Year drove down the price index of Recreation & Culture by 2.24%. Despite rising gasoline prices, price index of Transport dipped by 1.57% on account of falling airfares. On the other hand, price index of Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco rose by 0.37% attributable to increased prices of alcoholic beverages. Price index of Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages edged up by 0.04% due to higher charges for eating out; yet, lower prices of vegetables, fresh fish and seafood offset part of the increase. The CPI-A and CPI-B both decreased by 0.28% month-to-month.
For the 12 months ended March 2021, the average Composite CPI went down by 0.09% from the previous period (April 2019 to March 2020), with notable drop in the price indices of Communication (-10.41%), Recreation and Culture (-7.69%) and Footwear & Clothing (-6.82%). The average CPI-A and CPI-B fell by 0.02% and 0.22% respectively over the previous period.
The average Composite CPI for the first quarter of 2021 (102.39) decreased by 1.04% year-on-year. The average CPI-A and CPI-B went down by 1.03% and 1.05% respectively.
The Composite CPI reflects the impact of price changes on the general households in Macao. The CPI-A relates to about 50% of the households, which have an average monthly expenditure of MOP12,000 to MOP35,999. The CPI-B relates to about 30% of the households, which have an average monthly expenditure of MOP36,000 to MOP62,999.