Chile: Inflation accelerates in February
March 8, 2012
In February, consumer prices rose 0.4% over the previous month, which was above both the 0.1% increase recorded in January and market analysts' expectations, which had prices increasing by 0.2%. The monthly reading mainly reflected higher prices for transport as well as food and non-alcoholic beverages. Annual headline inflation rose from 4.2% in January to 4.4% in February, which is above the Central Bank's target of 3.0% (with a 1.0% tolerance margin) The core inflation index, which excludes volatile categories such as oil, fresh fruit and vegetables, rose 0.5% over the previous month. As a result of the monthly increase, annual core inflation edged up from 3.2% in January to 3.5% in February. Despite the monthly spike, Finance Minister Felipe Larrain stated that the government expects inflation to retreat and close the year within the Central Bank's target. The Central Bank expects inflation to end the year at 2.7%, before rising to 3.0% by the end of 2013.