The island’s rate of inflation has dropped slightly.
According to figures released today by the Treasury, the rate measured by the Retail Prices Index in February was 2.9 per cent. That’s down from 3.1 per cent in January.
Measured by the Consumer Prices Index, which excludes mortgage interest payments and household expenditure such as buildings insurance, was 1.8 per cent, down from 2 per cent in January.
A more detailed look at the figures shows that food has gone up 8.1 per cent in the last year, while some things have got cheaper.
Fares and other travel costs have dropped by 5 per cent, motoring has dropped by 3.9 per cent and alcoholic drinks have fallen by 1.3 per cent.
In contrast, tobacco has risen by 6.5 per cent, household goods by 5.5 per cent and leisure goods by 8.5 per cent.
Inflation is continuing to hit the poorest hardest.
Expenditure that’s hard to cut back, such as food and rent, has gone up much higher than the general rate of inflation.
Such expenditure will be higher as a proportion of total income for poorer people than those with more money to spend.
While food as a whole has gone up by 8.1 per cent, certain foods have gone up much more.
Cereals, for example, are up 25 per cent in a year. Milk products have risen 19.8 per cent (although milk itself has fallen by 0.9 per cent).
Potatoes are 14 per cent more expensive while coffee has soared by 24 per cent. Vegetables are 6.7 per cent dearer, while bacon is up 11.5 per cent.
School meals are also hitting parents in the pocket. They’ve risen by 11.7 per cent.
Rent is up 8.4 per cent over the year. Those paying mortgages have seen no difference at all.
There’s better news at the fuel pumps.
Petrol and oil are 4.6 per cent cheaper than this time last year, while vehicle tax and insurance has dropped by 8.8 per cent.
While sea travel has risen by 2.9 per cent, air fares have fallen by 18.5 per cent. It’s possible that this has been affected by the reduced number of destinations now served by Ronaldsway.
On average, something that cost £1 in the Isle of Man in January 2000 would now cost £1.62.
The UK has not yet released its inflation rate for February.
The RPI measure there stood at 2.8 per cent in January.