Costa Rica: February inflation jumps above target
March 4, 2013
In February, consumer prices rose 1.02% over the previous month, which came in below the 1.31% increase recorded in January and mostly reflects an increase in prices for education and transport as well as food and non-alcoholic beverages.
As a result, annual inflation jumped from 5.7% in January to 6.5% in February, the highest level since July 2009 and above the Central Bank's target of 5.0% with a tolerance margin of plus/minus 1.0 percentage points.
Meanwhile, the core inflation index, which strips out short-term fluctuations in the consumer price index, added 0.22% in February, which was below the 0.63% increase observed in January. Annual core inflation, however, fell from 3.3% in January to 3.0% in February.
According to the Macroeconomic Programme 2013-2014, the Central Bank intends to maintain an inflation target of 5.0% (with a tolerance margin of plus/minus 1.0 percentage points) this year and the next. Consensus Forecast panellists see inflation ending the year at 5.0%, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month's forecast. For next year, the panel sees year-end inflation at 4.9%.