Food prices soar in Trinidad and Tobago – CARICOM Business


The Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT) is blaming a surge in international commodity prices and inclement weather for a surge in food prices. According to the Central Statistical Office food inflation (year-on-year) rose from 3.2% in January to 4.9% in July 2021. The largest increases were recorded for vegetables, fruits, milk, cheese and eggs.

Core inflation, which excludes food items, remained relatively contained at 1.6% in July 2021, with headline inflation measuring 2.2%. In the meantime, CBTT has reported that international reserves rose to US$7.0 billion at September 17, 2021 (over 8 months of prospective imports), partly due to
the inclusion of US$644 million from the International Monetary Fund’s general allocation of SDRs in late August.

Commercial banks’ unremunerated excess reserves at the Central Bank amounted to TT$8.3 billion (1 TT dollar=US$0.16 cents) in mid-September 2021, up from TT$7.5 billion at the end of March. The CBTT has however maintained the repo rate at 3.50% taking into account local developments coupled with a recovering global economy.

Extract from CARICOM BUSINESS Vol 4 No. 39

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