March 14, 2017
Consumer prices rose 0.3% from the previous month in February, matching the increase observed in the preceding month. According to the National Comptroller’s Office (Contraloría General de la República), January’s print reflected higher prices in 8 of the 12 components of the index, with the education component recording the largest increase. In contrast, transportation was the only category that dropped in the surveyed month.
Inflation increased from January’s 1.6% to a multi-year high of 1.9% in February. February’s print was driven up by higher prices for transportation, health, education and housing utilities which include energy products. Due to the country’s dollarized economy, the authorities lack the freedom to use monetary policy or exchange rate adjustments to influence inflation. Meanwhile, annual average inflation inched up from 0.8% in January to 0.9% in February.