Colombia: Inflation hits record low in February
March 5, 2013
In February, consumer prices rose 0.44% over the previous month. The reading followed the 0.30% increase observed in January and came in below market expectations of a 0.54% rise. The monthly figure mainly reflects a strong increase in prices for education as well as for health.
Despite the monthly price rise, annual headline inflation declined from 2.0% in January to 1.8% in February, the lowest level on record. The core inflation index, which excludes volatile items such as fresh food and fuels, added 0.45% month-on-month in February (January: +0.36 mom). As a result, annual core inflation fell from 3.0% in January to 2.8%, thus remaining within the Central Bank's target of 3.0%, with a plus/minus 1.0 percentage-point tolerance margin.
According to the 2013 financial plan, the government sees inflation at 3.0% in 2013. LatinFocus Consensus Forecast participants anticipate inflation will close the year at 2.8%, which is down 0.2 percentage points from last month's forecast. For next year, the panel expects inflation to end the year at 3.1%.