Panama: Inflation inches up in December
January 7, 2013
In December, consumer prices rose 0.35% over the previous month, which more than doubled the 0.14% rise recorded in November. According to the National Comptroller's Office (Contraloria General de la Republica), the monthly figure mainly reflected higher prices for food and beverages as well as for healthcare.
Annual headline inflation inched up to 4.6% from 4.5% in November, which had marked the lowest level in two years. In addition, the 2012 year-end reading was below the 6.3% recorded at the end of the previous year. Despite having moderated in recent months, the inflation rate remains well above the country's historically low levels. In the country's dollarized economy, authorities lack the freedom to use monetary policy or exchange rate adjustments to reduce inflation.