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Between the gas pump and the high prices of groceries at the checkout counters, Dominican have plenty to reason to list inflation as Economic Enemy No.1. But how bad is it, really?

The straight answer: it’s bad enough, but don’t just judge the problems only what it cost to fill up your tank. It’s not surprising that many people feel as it price inflation is running hotter than a summer day in the Caribbean.

Dominicans will soon have to pay more for public transportation services, which eventually a perception factor will trickle down to all types of local consumer spending.

Gas prices reached a record price on May 15, according to price on world market, up 38 cents in the past month. Food prices this year are also reaching record prices. These are the prices rising fastest and these are the ones people see the most.

So while the prices of some important items bought less frequently, for example cell phones, clothing, even buying a house –have fallen or remained flat, the prices at the checkout counter are sky rocketing.

Another cause for worry: Wages are not keeping up with inflation — people are still being paid the same salaries. Recently government increased the basic wage, but the rate at which prices are rising- these basic wage increases will not cover the expenses of the local consumer.

My question to the readers: What happens if energy prices continue to go up, which eventually will have an influence on the other sectors in the Dominican economy? What happens then?

P.S. Whatever happened to the Petro Caribe Project? To my knowledge the project is presently up and running. For all those who don’t know about the Petro Caribe Project – (in my understanding) the project was an agreement between the Government of Venezuela and Dominica; where Venezuela would setup an oil bank in Dominica and in turn will help lower the prices of fuel in Dominica. Sadly to say the prices of fuel continues to rise in Dominica…What happened?

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