Inflation preview in May stays at 0.44%, the higher for this month since 2016

Section: Economic Statistics | Alerrandre Barros

May 25, 2021 09h00 AM | Last Updated: May 25, 2021 04h55 PM

Electricity exerted the biggest individual impact on the May´s IPCA-15 - Photo: Licia Rubinstein/IBGE News Agency

As released today (25) by the IBGE, the Extended National Consumer Price Index 15 - IPCA-15, the inflation preview, rose 0.44% in May, below the April´s rate (0.60%). This is the highest figure for May since 2016, when the index stood at 0.86%. The cumulative change over the year is 3.27% and, in the last 12 months, 7.27%, above the rate of 6.17% registered in the 12 immediately previous months. In May 2020, the rate was -0.59%.

The group of health and personal care (1.23%) accelerated in the comparison with April (0.44%), recording the biggest impact (0.16 p.p.) on the May´s indicator, due in large part to the adjustment of 10.08% in medicines in the beginning of the previous month. Anti-allergic medicines and bronchodilators (5.16%), dermatological medicines (4.63%), anti-infectives and antibiotics (4.43%) and hormonal medicines (4.22%) increased.

Yet, electricity (2.31%), in the group of housing (0.79%), was the item that contributed with the biggest individual impact on the index (0.10 p.p.). In May, the red tariff flag level 1, which adds R$4.169 to the electricity fare at each 100 kilowatt-hour consumed, came into force, after four consecutive months of yellow flag, whose addition is only R$1.343. In addition, the electricity fares in Fortaleza (8.27%), Salvador (5.83%) and Recife (5.40%) were adjusted.

Bottled gas (1.45%) was another highlight in the group of housing, rising for the 12th consecutive month, though less than in April (2.49%).


Food and beverages (0.48%) accelerated with the rise in food at home, which changed from 0.19% in April to 0.50% in May. Among the highlights, meat (1.77%) – which accrue an increase of 35.68% in the last 12 months – and tomatoes (7.24%), which fell 3.48% in April. On the dropping side, the biggest negative impact (-0.06 p.p.) came from fruits, whose prices retreated 6.45%.

As the only group with a deflation in May, transportation (-0.23%) was influenced by the drop of 28.85% in the prices of airfare in all the areas surveyed by the IBGE, which changes varying from -10.90% in Belém to -37.10% in Brasília. Besides airfare, the prices of transportation through apps  (-9.11%) and voluntary insurance of vehicles (-3.18%) declined.

The biggest positive impact (0.03 p.p.) in transportation came from new cars (1.16%), followed by car repair (1.05%) and gasoline (0.29%), which accrues a rise of 41.55% in the last 12 months. Subway (0.46%) and urban bus (0.25%) also rose in May.

Still among the groups, the biggest change came from wearing apparel (1.42%), with a rise in all the items surveyed, mainly jewels (2.35%) and women’s wearing apparel (2.00%). The other groups varied between 0.03% in communication and 0.89% in household articles.

Brasília is the only region with deflation in May

The survey also unveils that, among the areas surveyed, Brasília (-0.18%) was the only one with a negative change in May, as the drop in the prices of airfare (-37.10%), gasoline (-1.42%) and fruits (-10.03%) weighted. The highest index was registered in Fortaleza (1.08%), due to the rises in electricity (8.27%) and pharmaceuticals (3.51%).

The IPCA-15 prices were collected from April 14 to May 13, 2021 and compared with those in effect from March 16 to April 13, 2021 (base).

More about the IPCA-15

The National System of Consumer Price Indexes – SNIPC produces continuously and systematically consumer price indexes. Released on the Internet since May 2000, the IPCA-15 differs from the IPCA in the period of data collection, which is usually from day 16 in the previous month to day 15 in the reference month, as well as in the geographic scope.  The IPCA encompasses 16 areas, whereas the IPCA-15 encompasses only 11.