Middle class urban islanders in Majuro, capital of the Marshall Islands, are increasingly hard-pressed to put food on the table, let alone use air conditioners or refrigerators as double-digit inflation hits home.
The government¹s chief planner Carl Hacker says lower-income households have been especially hard-hit by recent food inflation.
Retail prices for rice - the main staple food in the country, and entirely imported - have jumped from under $8 a 9 kilo bag to over $10 since April and retailers say the price will likely hit $15 by July.
Electricity rates for homes have risen 78 percent since November last
year, rising from 23 cents a kilowatt hour to 41 cents as of last weekend.
The government statistics office reported in late May that inflation made
its first-ever double digit jump in the first quarter of 2008, as prices
increased over 10 percent ‹ more than double the 4.4 percent inflation for
all of 2007