Venezuela: Inflation continues to mount in March
April 15, 2013
In March, the consumer price index for the Caracas Metropolitan Region rose 2.73% over the previous month, which is above the 1.41% increase tallied in February. However, the print undershot market expectations that had prices rising 3.03%. The reading mostly reflects higher prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages as well as for clothing and footwear.
Building on the monthly increase, annual headline inflation rose from 22.1% in February to 24.2% in March, which represents the highest level observed since March 2012. Meanwhile, the core inflation index, which excludes volatile items such as fresh food, oil and other goods subject to government price controls, rose 2.98% over the previous month, down from the 3.29% increase tallied in February. As a result, annual core inflation jumped from 26.1% in February to 28.0% in March.
According to the 2013 budget, the Venezuelan government expects inflation to end the year between 14.0% and 16.0%. LatinFocus Consensus Forecast panellists expect consumer prices to rise 29.7% by the end of this year, which is up 0.5 percentage points from last month's forecast. Next year, the panel sees inflation at 26.7%.