Costa-Rica: March inflation still remains above target
April 2, 2013
In March, consumer prices rose a mild 0.11% over the previous month, which came in below the 1.02% increase recorded in February. The small increase mostly reflects how a drop in prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages as well as for alcoholic beverages and cigarettes was more than compensated for the increase in prices for household goods and transportation.
As a result, annual inflation dropped from 6.5% in February to 6.2% in March. Nevertheless, inflation remains 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, remained unchanged from the previous month in March, contrasting the 0.22% increase observed in February. Annual core inflation fell from 3.0% in February to 2.9% in March.
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. FocusEconomics 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%.