Panama: Inflation quickens in September
October 13, 2011
In September, consumer prices added 0.74% over the previous month, which was above the 0.45% increase observed in August. According to the National Comptroller's Office (Contraloria General de la Republica), the monthly rise mainly reflected price increases in housing as well as in the food and beverages categories. Annual headline inflation accelerated from 5.3% in August to 6.1% in September. Currently, the inflation rate remains well above the country's historically low levels. Panama registered an average inflation rate of 1.3% during 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 lack the freedom to use monetary policy or exchange rate adjustments to reduce inflation.