Panama: Inflation reaches four-month-high in April
May 12, 2014
In April, consumer prices rose 0.53% over the previous month, which came in above the 0.40% increase recorded in March. According to the National Comptroller's Office (Contraloria General de la Republica), the monthly increase was driven by higher prices for food and beverages as well as for healthcare.
Annual inflation increased from 3.3% in March to 3.5% in April, which marked the highest level since December 2013. As a result, inflation continues to hold above historically low levels. Due to the country's dollarized economy, authorities lack the freedom to use monetary policy or exchange rate adjustments to reduce inflation.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect inflation to reach 4.0% by the end of 2014, which is unchanged from last month's forecast. For 2015, the panel sees inflation at 3.7%.
Author: Carl Kelly, Economist