Costa Rica: Inflation decelerates in February
February 3, 2011
In February, consumer prices rose 0.44% over the previous month, which was below the 0.68% price increase registered in January. According to the National Statistics Office (INEC, Instituto Nacional de Estadistica y Censos), higher prices for education (+4.17% month-on-month) as well as for transport (+0.89% mom) drove the February increase. Annual inflation decelerated slightly from 4.8% in January to 4.6% in February, which is under the Central Bank's 5.0% inflation target. Meanwhile, the core inflation index, which smoothes short-term fluctuations in the consumer price index, added 0.34% in February. As a result of the subdued reading, annual core inflation inched down from 3.6% in January to 3.5% in February. According to the Revision of the Macroeconomic Program 2011-2012 announced in January, the Central Bank maintains an inflation target of 5.0% for 2011, with a tolerance margin of 1 percentage points, and 4.0% for 2012.