Panama: Inflation increases moderately in July
August 12, 2015
In July, consumer prices increased 0.10% over the previous month, which matched June’s result. According to the National Comptroller’s Office (Contraloría General de la República), the monthly reading was largely the result of an increase in prices for transport and food and beverages, which were partly offset by a decrease in prices for housing and utilities. Price pressures for basic goods continue to be kept in check by the price control system that President Juan Carlos Varela introduced in July of last year.
Consumer prices increased 0.9% in July over the same month last year, which was up from the flat reading observed in June. July’s result marked the highest reading in seven months. However, 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