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Canned tuna
Basic food prices on the rise again

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — After a slight drop in certain food commodities in the territory, food prices have again increased after a spike in prices for several food items, according to the June 2022 Basic Food Index (BFI) released this past Friday by the Commerce Department’s Statistics and Analysis Division.

In May, the BFI dropped slightly to 0.3% for the local cost of basic food items compared to April. However, the BFI in June registered a monthly increase of 1.9% since May and the increase comes, as consumers remain concerned with many complaining about the high costs for basic food items.

For June, DOC points out while twelve food commodities contributed to the increase, three food items — bottled water, canned tuna, and bread — remained constant throughout June.

The food commodities that contributed to the 1.9% month-over-month increase are: eggs (13.9%), ice cream (7.5%), corned beef (4.7%) rice (3.3%) ramen (3.1%) sausage (2.6%), chicken legs (2.5%) mayonnaise (1.8%), butter (1.1%), sugar (0.8%), taro (0.4%) and soft drinks (0.1%).

According to the DOC report, the trend in BFI and food costs continued to rise rapidly over the last 12 months. An annual comparison of the current BFI to a year ago showed that basic food costs have increased by 23.7%, a monthly average of about 2% increase over a period of twelve months.

A total of 14 major to mid-size retail stores have been selected for monitoring basic food costs on Tutuila island from the far-westside to the far-east side. DOC reminds the community that the BFI is not to be confused with the Quarterly Consumer Price Index — which is a comprehensive standard measure of inflation and the cost of living in American Samoa.

American Samoa’s inflation for the second quarter of 2022 registered at 11.8 percent — an increase of 0.2 percent from the first quarter, according to the Commerce Department’s Statistics & Analysis Division for the Consumer Price Index (or CPI) for the 2nd Quarter of 2022 — for the period of April to June.  (See Samoa News edition July 12 for details.)