Nearly 50% of median Haitian household spending devoted to food

Nearly 50% of median Haitian household spending devoted to food

Reports from a bulletin  published by The Haitian Institute of Statistics and Informatics (IHSI) published on October 22  of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the month of September 2021 noticed that  inflation for September 2021 was 1.4%. 

The IHSI also publishes the CPI by expenditure group. The group that saw the highest price hike in September 2021, 23% in a year and 2.2% in a month, was healthcare. Within this group, we find drugs at the top of the list with a 28.4% increase, just ahead of prescription glasses (17.5%). 

Followed by the catering sector, with 20.6% growth in one year and 2.7% over one month, then “food products and non-alcoholic beverages” with an increase of 1.3% over one month and by 14.7% in one year.

In the food group, we find rice with an average increase of 21.8%, meats (on average 17 , 1%), powdered milk (20.9%), edible oil (27.9%), lemon (24.8%), banana (17.6%), pea (14, 9%) and sugar (on average 15.6%). 

Under the heading “housing, water, gas, electricity and other fuels”, propane gas (21.5%) and charcoal (17.8%) are the products which recorded the most significant price increases.

Among the twelve expenditure groups of the IPC, the item “Food and non-alcoholic beverages” represents 48.52% of total household expenditure in Haiti. So when the prices of these products increase, the well-being of consumers is greatly degraded. In poor countries, households devote a much higher percentage of their expenditure to food. 

For example, in Canada in 2020, households spent 16.4% of their consumer spending on food, unlike nearly 50% in Haiti. 

Housing is the largest expense item (29.8%) for Canadian households.

In Haiti, the second most important item remains “Housing, water, gas, electricity and other fuels” which represents 14.1%, much more than transport (9.1%).

In summary, in 2018-2019, out of every 100 gourdes spent by households for consumption in Haiti, 50 gourdes went to food, 14 to housing, 9 to transport.

The HSI also publishes a CPI for local products and a CPI for imported products which allows for a better account of imported inflation. All of this provides a complete picture of the price movement throughout the national territory. These price variations significantly affect the standard of living of Haitian households who are not always aware of them. 

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