Results of the Consumer Price Index for March 2006

Statistics and Census Service announced that the Composite CPI for March 2006 was 106.63, down by 0.12% over the previous month. The decrease was mainly attributable to the price discount offered in long-distance call (IDD), price reduction in the seasonal sales of men’s and women’s clothing, lower prices of fresh flowers and outbound package tours; therefore, the indices of Communication; Clothing & footwear; and Recreation & culture fell by 4.36%, 0.97% and 0.64% respectively. On the other hand, the increase in rentals for housing and higher gasoline prices led to the increase in the indices of Housing & fuels (+0.67%); and Transport (+0.30%). Composite CPI for March 2006 registered a year-on-year increase of 5.19%. For the 12 months ended March 2006, the average Composite CPI increased by 4.96% over the previous period. In addition, the CPI-A and CPI-B for March 2006 were 107.52 and 106.41, which decrease by 0.15% and 0.10% compared with February. In comparison with the same period of 2005, Composite CPI for the first quarter of 2006 rose by 5.48%, with notable increase in the indices of Housing & fuels (+13.38%); and Education (+9.31%). Starting from January 2006, the CPI has been rebased to July 2004 to June 2005, apart from the compilation of the Composite CPI that reflects the impacts of price changes for the general population, two indices are compiled to show the influences of price changes for households in different expenditure ranges. The CPI-A relates to about 49% of households, which had an average monthly expenditure of MOP 3,000 to MOP 9,999; the CPI-B relates to about 31% of households, which had an average monthly expenditure of MOP 10,000 to MOP 19,999.

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