Guatemala: Inflation declines to 14-month low in February
March 7, 2014
In February, consumer prices rose 0.20% over the previous month, which followed the 0.25% increase recorded in January. The print mainly reflected that lower prices for transportation were offset by higher prices in most of the remaining categories. Annual headline inflation fell from 4.1% in January to 3.5% in February, which marked the lowest level since December 2012. That said, inflation still remains anchored within the Central Bank's tolerance margin of plus/minus 1.0 percentage points around its target of 4.0%. Core consumer prices added 0.15% in February (January: +0.26% month-on-month), while annual core inflation declined from 2.4% in January to 2.1% in February, which represented the lowest rate since February 2010. At its 26 February monetary policy meeting, the Central Bank decided to maintain the policy interest rate at 5.00% following a similar decision in the previous meeting. The Bank justified its decision by citing the gradual global economic recovery in advanced economies as well as stable inflationary pressures. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists see inflation at 4.7% by the end of 2014, which is unchanged from last month's estimate. In 2015, FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast participants expect inflation to inch down to 4.6%.