Colombia: Inflation edges up in March on weaker peso
April 5, 2019
According to the National Department of Administrative Statistics (DANE), consumer prices increased 0.43% over the previous month in March, a slightly softer upturn compared to February’s 0.57% month-on-month rise. Food and non-alcoholic beverages led the climb in prices, followed closely by alcoholic beverages and tobacco. On the flip side, prices for recreation and culture fell the most from the previous month, followed by information and communication costs.
Inflation edged up to 3.2% in March (February: 3.0%), remaining within the Central Bank’s target band of 3.0% plus or minus 1.0 percentage points. A weaker peso, owing to strengthening in the dollar and some contagion from the Argentine peso’s sharp dive, pushed up overall prices.
In February—the latest month for which data is available—core consumer prices—which exclude volatile items including fresh food and fruit—rose 0.7% over the previous month, following a 0.5% month-on-month rise in January. Meanwhile, core inflation remained at January’s 3.1% in February.
Colombia Inflation Forecast
Panelists participating in the LatinFocus Consensus Forecast expect that inflation will end 2019 at 3.4%, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast. For 2020, the panel also expects inflation to end the year at 3.2%.
Author: Nihad Ahmed, Economist