Venezuela: Inflation edges up in February
March 14, 2014
According to the preliminary figures released on 14 March, consumer prices rose 2.40% over the previous month in February. Although the increase slightly overshot the 2.31% rise that LatinFocus Consensus Forecast panelists had expected, it was down from the 3.30% increase tallied in January. February's increase mainly reflected higher prices for culture and recreation as well as for health. Annual inflation edged up from 56.3% in January to 57.3% in February. Meanwhile, the core inflation index-which excludes volatile items such as fresh food, oil and other goods subject to government price controls-rose 3.90% over the previous month, which was above the 3.20% increase recorded in January. According to LatinFocus Consensus Forecast calculations, annual core inflation increased from 60.4% in January to 61.3% in February. Per its 2014 budget, the Venezuelan government expects inflation to end the year between 26.0% and 28.0%. LatinFocus Consensus Forecast panelists, however, expect inflation to reach 59.0% by the end of this year, which is up 1.9 percentage points from last month's forecast. In 2015, the panel sees inflation at 46.7%.