Chile: Inflation eases more than expected in February
March 8, 2013
In February, consumer prices rose 0.1% over the previous month, which followed the 0.2% increase registered in January and came in short of market expectations of a 0.3% increase. According to the statistical institute, higher prices for transport more than offset lower prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages.
As a result, annual headline inflation moderated from 1.6% in January to 1.3% in February, which was below market expectations of a 1.5% rate and marked the lowest level since June 2010. At the current level, inflation remains below the Central Bank's target of 3.0% with a plus/minus 1.0 percentage point tolerance margin. Meanwhile, the core inflation index, which excludes volatile categories such as oil, fresh fruit and vegetables, rose 0.1% over the previous month, matching January's increase. Annual core inflation fell from 1.4% in January to 1.0% in February.
In the latest Monetary Policy Report from December 2012, the Bank sees year-end inflation at 2.9% in 2013. LatinFocus Consensus Forecast panellists expect inflation to close the year at 3.0%, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month's forecast. For 2014, inflation is expected to remain stable at 3.0%.