Our beautiful prices

We are witnessing a downward trend in (official) inflation in Macau, measured by the average change in the last twelve months of the CPI (consumer price index). We had 2.37 per cent inflation in December 2016, 2.2 in January, 1.91 in February, 1.69 in March, 1.51 in April and 1.37 last May. In one of […]

We are witnessing a downward trend in (official) inflation in Macau, measured by the average change in the last twelve months of the CPI (consumer price index).
We had 2.37 per cent inflation in December 2016, 2.2 in January, 1.91 in February, 1.69 in March, 1.51 in April and 1.37 last May.
In one of my articles, I pointed to May registering “inflation in an interval between 1.35 and 1.38 percentage points”.
On 23 May, the DSEC confirmed that inflation in Macau in May was exactly 1.37 percentage points, and as such was within my forecast, once again!
Let’s make a similar exercise for June 2017.
How much will inflation be this month?
As in the past, we will try to be as accurate as possible using two decimal points.
Inflation in June is expected to be between 1.27 and 1.29 per cent.
Once again down!
A big drop when compared to the value of 1.37 in May!
It will be difficult to advance a number for the end of the year, because this pink variation of our inflation until May bothers me a lot, and in some cases leaves me perplexed!
How can the rents continue to go down in a scenario of very high growth of the housing prices?
Last month, I suggested in this column that inflation in Macau, at the end of the year, could be between 0.9 and 1.73 percentage points, a very large interval of 0.83 points, but I also stated that it would decline as we moved towards December.
Now we can tighten this interval a little bit more.
Inflation could fall between 1.24 and 1.67 percentage points in December 2017.
Please remember when looking to the lower figures of 2017 that inflation in Macau reached a peak of 6.06 percent in November 2014!
It seems, therefore, as a conclusion, that it will be below the forecasts of the UMAC and the Economist Intelligence Unit, that pointed to inflation for 2017 of 2.1 and 2.0 per cent, respectively.
Our inflation in 2017 is likely to reach its lowest point in July, and in August we will enter an upward phase.
Of course, that is if nothing unusual happens.
With real estate prices growing 48.26 per cent year-on-year in May, who believes that housing rents, that occupy 19.37 per cent of the basket of goods and services, of a family, have declined 1.86 per cent over the same period?
Not even a small growth?
I am sorry, I cannot understand!

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