Panama: Inflation eases marginally in January
February 11, 2011
In January, consumer prices added 0.69% over the previous month, which was virtually unchanged from the 0.70% price rise registered in December. According to the National Comptroller's Office (Contraloria General de la Republica), the monthly increase reflected higher transportation costs, augmented by rising fuel prices, as well as higher prices for food and beverages. As a result of the monthly price increase, annual headline inflation inched down from 4.9% in December to 4.8% in January, but remains well 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.