Costa Rica: Inflation remains steady in March
April 5, 2011
In March, consumer prices rose 0.25% over the previous month, which was below the 0.44% price increase registered in February. According to the National Statistics Office (INEC, Instituto Nacional de Estadistica y Censos), higher prices for transport (+0.85% month-on-month) as well as for miscellaneous goods and services (+0.87% mom) offset lower prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages (-0.40% mom). Owing to the moderate price increase, annual inflation remained unchanged at February's 4.6%, remaining below the Central Bank's 5.0% inflation target. Meanwhile, the core inflation index, which smoothes short-term fluctuations in the consumer price index, added 0.64% in March. As a result of the pronounced price increase in March, annual core inflation increased from 3.5% in February to 4.0%. 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.