Chile: Inflation rises to a 22-month high in February
March 7, 2014
In February, consumer prices rose 0.5% over the previous month. The figure, which came in above the 0.2% increase recorded in January, overshot market expectations of a 0.3% increase. According to the statistical institute, the monthly increase mainly reflected higher prices for transportation, food and non-alcoholic beverages as well as for housing. Annual headline inflation rose from 2.8% in January to 3.2% in February, which represents the highest rate since April 2012. As a result, inflation remains within the Central Bank's target range of 3.0% plus/minus 1.0 percentage points. The core inflation index, which excludes volatile categories such as oil, fresh fruit and vegetables, rose from 0.2% in January to 0.4% in February. Annual core inflation rose from 2.4% in January to 2.7% in February The Central Bank sees 2014 year-end inflation at 2.5%. LatinFocus Consensus Forecast panelists expect inflation to close 2014 at 2.8%, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month's forecast. For 2015, the panel sees inflation inching up to 2.9%.
Author: Dirina Mançellari, Senior Economist