Panama Inflation


Panama: Consumer prices flat in March

April 13, 2015

In March, consumer prices increased 0.89% over the previous month, which contrasted the 0.78% decrease recorded in January and marked the highest increase in almost four years. According to the National Comptroller’s Office (Contraloria General de la Republica), the monthly increase in March was driven by higher prices for communications, transport, and hotels and restaurants. 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 picked up from a 0.4% decrease in February, which marked a multi-year low, to a flat reading in March. 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.

LatinFocus Consensus Forecast panelists expect inflation to reach 3.3% by the end of 2015, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast. For 2016, the panel sees inflation at 3.2%.

Author:, Economist

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Panama Inflation Chart

Panama Inflation March 2015

Note: Annual variation of consumer price index in %.
Source: National Comptroller’s Office and FocusEconomics calculations. The National Comptroller’s Office revised their methodology for calculating the consumer price index and changed the base year from October 2002 to 2013. The annual variation for November 2014 was not provided. Historical data refer to the old base year.

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