Panama: Consumer prices flat again in April
May 12, 2015
In April, consumer prices increased 0.49% over the previous month, which was below the 0.89% decrease recorded in March. According to the National Comptroller’s Office (Contraloria General de la Republica), the monthly increase in April was driven by higher prices for hotels and restaurants, as well as for alcoholic beverages and tobacco. Meanwhile, price pressures in the food and beverages category continue to be kept in check by the price control system for basic products that President Juan Carlos Varela introduced in July last year.
Annual consumer prices registered a second consecutive flat reading in April. The price control system and falling oil prices are keeping inflation at historically-low levels. Due to the country’s dollarized economy, authorities lack the freedom to use monetary policy or exchange rate adjustments to influence inflation.
Author: Carl Kelly, Economist