3 Jun 2008

CNMI business costs rise as oil price is up

3:02 pm on 3 June 2008

The Chamber of Commerce in the Northern Marianas says local businesses are being forced to pass on their rising costs to consumers to offset the higher cost of oil.

Petrol in the CNMI is now at $4.60 a gallon, with further hikes likely.

The chamber's president Jim Arenovski says because the cost of shipping has also risen, businesses have been forced to push up the cost to wholesalers, retailers and then on to consumers.

He says there have also been major hikes to electricity rates, and global food shortages on items like rice are also having an impact.

As a result, he says many people are now struggling to pay for everyday essentials.

"So everything from SPAM , and rice obviously, which is a worldwide crunch right now. And we've seen everything from detergent to meat and what not start to increase and its affecting our employees and our business owners and some folks have now increased their prices at restaurants and other services they provide."

CNMI Chamber of commerce president, Jim Arenovski.