Panama Inflation February 2016


Inflation reaches 14-month high in February

In February, consumer prices rose 0.1% month-on-month, which matched the reading tallied in January. According to the National Comptroller’s Office (Contraloría General de la República), January’s print reflected price increases for 10 of the 12 categories included in the survey. The education and health components tallied the biggest increases.

Inflation rose from 0.3% in January to 1.2% in February. While February’s print was the highest since December 2014, inflation has hovered around historically-low levels owing to a price control system and falling oil prices. In December, the government extended the price control system for an additional six months. Due to the country’s dollarized economy, authorities lack the freedom to use monetary policy or exchange rate adjustments to influence inflation.

Panelists participating in the FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast expect inflation to reach 1.6% by the end of 2016, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast. For 2017, the panel sees inflation at 2.1%.

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Panama Inflation Chart

Panama Inflation February 2016 0

Note: Annual variation of consumer price index in %.
Source: National Comptroller’s Office and FocusEconomics calculations

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