The consumer price index for Puerto Rico for the month of December 2021 came in at 124.15. This was a 0.03% increase when compared to November 2021, and a 4.2% increase when compared to December 2020.
Some of the categories with the largest year over year increases were motor fuel (38.9%), lodging away from home (26.2%), and poultry (15.8%). Rising oil prices have contributed to the increase in motor fuel. The increase in lodging away from home is due to the local tourism industry recovering to pre-pandemic totals in 2021.
Two categories that had significant decreases compared to December 2020 were girl’s clothing (2.4%) and footwear (1.6%). Apparel as a category decreased by 0.1% in 2021. This has been the historical tendency within this category, which was at its highest in 1988.
4 categories had increases greater than 2% compared to November: eggs (5.7%), fuel for homes (4.7%), poultry (4.3%), and dairy products (1.9%). Food prices have been increasing at a faster rate in recent months.
Food and beverage increased by 5.6% compared to December 2020. Some of the highest increases seen compared to before the pandemic have been in food items, including fats and dressings (17.4%), poultry (14.1%), and beef (11.4%).
Housing went up by 2%. The largest increases were in lodging away from home and fuels for homes.
Transportation increased by 9.1%, driven mostly by increases in oil prices.
Medical care increased by 0.4%. Education and communication increased by 1.5%. The largest increases were in tuition (3.3%) and education (2.8%).
Prices have increased significantly since the beginning of the COVID pandemic. We can expect inflation to continue being a significant issue well into 2022. Until COVID settles down at a global level and the issues regarding transportation costs and logistics are resolved, we can expect increasing prices to continue significantly affecting the economy.