Panama: Consumer prices increase in May
June 12, 2015
In May, consumer prices increased 0.49% over the previous month, which matched April’s reading. According to the National Comptroller’s Office (Contraloria General de la Republica), the monthly increase in May was driven by higher prices for transportation, food and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as for alcoholic beverages and tobacco. Price pressures for basic goods continue to be kept in check by the price control system that President Juan Carlos Varela introduced in July last year.
Annual consumer prices registered a 0.4% increase in May, which was up from the flat reading tallied in April. This marked the first positive result in four months. 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: Robert Hill, Economist