Inflation in April will be between 1.49 and 1.52 per cent


After Macau’s inflation reached 1.91 in February, due to the fact that the General Consumer Price Index (CPI) dropped by 0.46 points in absolute terms, I questioned the collection of the rents data for that basket of expenditure.
The rents rise in the market, but not in CPI!
For decades I have been upset by the DSEC (Statistics and Census Service) and for decades I have applauded its progress and I have mentioned the importance of its work, often regretting that there is no-one who realises that without good knowledge of reality there is no economic policy that suits us.
I said a few months ago that since it was not credible that the way the data was collected could change, inflation in March would very likely hover between 1.66 and 1.77 per cent.
And so it happened: inflation in March stood at 1.69 per cent.
Today, I am still not satisfied with CPI falling, not because I do not like this behaviour, but because it seems a surreal idea, even if the CPI drop in March was only 0.01 points!
So, for the month of April, what can we expect?
Inflation even lower, although the CPI is starting to grow in absolute value, I believe.
Do not ask me to explain this apparent incongruity, as I am not an academic, nor do I have the patience to do this today, although it is very easy.
April’s inflation in Macau, which is expected to be officially confirmed by the end of May, should be in the range of 1.49 to 1.52 percentage points, although at the end of the year it will obviously be higher.
Somewhere in the second half, maybe in August, it will begin to rise by virtue of its own calculation process.
We need to go back to January 2005 in order to see lower inflation than we will have in April 2016: August 2004 was the last month we were in deflation.
Do not forget that 2004 was the year of the great leap in gaming revenues that grew by nearly 44 per cent!
By the end of 2017, we will most likely have inflation below the 2.37 per cent achieved last year.
To have inflation higher than 2016 would require monthly average increases of 0.53 in absolute value in CPIs, including April, which does not seem possible.
At least today, with the process being used for the collection of data!