Panama: Inflation accelerates in February
March 11, 2011
In February, consumer prices added 0.38% over the previous month, which was well below the 0.69% rise registered in January. According to the National Comptroller's Office (Contraloria General de la Republica), the monthly increase reflected higher costs for recreational, entertainment and cultural services as well as higher prices for food and beverages. Annual headline inflation inched up from 4.8% in January to 5.0% in February, moving further above 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.