Panama: Inflation increases in November
December 13, 2010
In November, consumer prices added 0.23% over the previous month, which was above the 0.16% price rise recorded in October. According to the National Comptroller's Office (Contraloria General de la Republica), the monthly increase reflected higher car prices, as well as higher prices for health and miscellaneous goods and services. As a result of the moderate price increase, annual headline inflation inched up from 4.1% in October to 4.3% in November. Moreover, inflation is still well above the historically low inflation levels. Panama registered an average inflation rate of 1.4% in the 15 years prior to the price surge that commenced in May 2007 and peaked at 10.0% in September 2008. In the country's dollarized economy, authorities do not have the freedom to use monetary policy or exchange rate adjustments to reduce inflation. The government expects inflation to average 3.1% in 2010.