Dominican Republic: Inflation picks up in March
Consumer prices rose 0.37% in March over the previous month, contrasting the 0.11% drop recorded in February. According to the Central Bank, March’s rebound was largely driven by higher prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as for transport, particularly airfare.
Inflation accelerated to 3.9% in March from 3.3% in February, coming in marginally below the midpoint of the Central Bank’s inflation target range of 3.0%–5.0%. Core inflation, which excludes volatile items such as food and energy prices, picked up to 2.6% in March from 2.5% in February, the highest print in three years.
At its 28 March monetary policy meeting, the Central Bank kept the main policy rate unchanged at 5.25%, where it has been since July 2017. The Bank justified its decision by highlighting that inflation expectations for the next two years remain firmly entrenched within its target range. It also highlighted the economy’s robust performance in the final stretch of 2017 and early 2018, a performance that has been underpinned by the looser fiscal and monetary stances since the second half of 2017.