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Inflation Rate Slows in First Two Months of 2009

March 6, 2009

Prices of basic goods and services during January and February combined rose by 0.82 percent, slowing by 1.85 percent compared with the same period last year, according to the National Statistics and Census Institute (INEC).

Inflation in February alone was 0.44 percent, below the 1.11 percent registered the same month in 2008, the institute said in its latest Consumer Price Index (IPC). The index details price changes in different areas from services to products to entertainment.

Last month, the areas that increased the most included food and beverages consumed outside the home (0.76 percent), clothing and footwear (0.75 percent) and house rental fees and services (4.68 percent).

The IPC tracks the basic consumer basket, which includes more than 292 essential or commonly-used products and services.

From that basket, 65 percent registered a hike in February when compared to January´s prices, while only 28 percent showed a decrease. The remaining 7 percent of products and services showed no variation.

In a statement released on Tuesday regarding the INEC monthly report, the consulting firm Aldesa said the moderation of economic activity worldwide along with the drop of prices of commodities and the increase of interest rates on a local level would continue to temper inflation.

 

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