Panama: Consumer prices remain stable at historical-low in October
November 13, 2015
In October, consumer prices dropped 0.10% over the previous month, which came in above September’s 0.48% drop (previously reported: -0.39% month-on-month). According to the National Comptroller’s Office (Contraloría General de la República), three of the twelve categories surveyed reported a drop. The biggest drops were reported by the transportation, communication, and alcoholic beverages and tobacco components. However, the drop was offset by gains in five components of the survey.
Consumer prices fell 0.4% in annual terms in October, which matched September’s reading. October’s reading represents the third time this year that inflation has tallied minus 0.4%—the lowest reading ever recorded. Inflation has remained at historically-low levels thanks to a price control system and falling oil prices. Nevertheless, inflation is expected to pick up moderately after December when the government is expected to remove the price control system that has been in place since 2014. Due to the country’s dollarized economy, authorities lack the freedom to use monetary policy or exchange rate adjustments to influence inflation.