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Inflation in consumer price index for food

Highlights

  • During the last 5 years, the annual food price inflation in the world has decreased from 5% in 2014 to 4% in 2018 with divergent trends at regional level.
  • In Africa annual food inflation increased in Africa from 5% in 2014 to 6% in 2018.
  • Food prices remained nearly stable in Europe.
  • In Latin America, Asia, and Oceania the rate of inflation declined.

 

Chart 1: Food Consumer price inflation – Global and regions

Source: IMF, UNSD and national statistics’ websites, FAO Statistics Division for the calculation

 

A comparison of the historical trend of the agricultural commodity prices inflation measured by the FPI against the food price inflation measured by the global food CPI confirms that the volatility in FPI is not fully transmitted to the global Food CPI. This may be due to limited price transmission from international markets to domestic economies and averaging across countries.

Chart 2: Inflation: FPI and Food CPI

Sources: IMF, UNSD, national statistics’ websites and FAO (http://www.fao.org/worldfoodsituation/foodpricesindex/en/), FAO Statistics Division for the calculation.

Download CPI data

Note to Readers

Note to Readers

Definitions and Acknowledgements

Global and Regional Food Consumer Price Indices (CPI) measure food inflation for a group of countries at different geographical scales: sub-regional (e.g. South America), regional (e.g. Americas) and global (all countries). The Global Food CPI covers approximately 180 countries worldwide representing more than 95% of the world population. Unless otherwise stated, monthly inflation rates represent annual year-over-year inflation.

Aggregation uses population weights, which may better reflect the impact of food inflation on consumers than Gross Domestic Product (GDP) weights. The use of GDP weights also gives higher importance to countries less exposed to food insecurity, as consumers in countries with higher GDP tend to be richer, spend a lower proportion of their income on food, and benefit from an economic environment characterized by lower and less volatile consumer price inflation.

The sources of official country CPIs includes the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the UN Statistics Division (UNSD), the Central Bank of Western African States (BCEAO), Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) and national statistical office websites. We gratefully acknowledge the Statistics Division of the ILO for their methodological and technical guidance on the compilation of global and regional food inflation indices. In 2015, the IMF took over from the ILO, the responsibility for compiling an international database of official national CPIs, as per an agreement between the IMF, the ILO and FAO.

Global and regional food CPIs should be interpreted with caution due to conceptual and methodological differences across countries in the compilation of their official CPIs.

Next release

Country Consumer Food Price Indices are updated in FAOSTAT on a quarterly basis. The next release presenting global and regional trends will be in July 2019.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about concepts, methods or data quality, contact the Price Statistics Team of FAO’s Statistics Division (Price-Statistics@fao.org)