The inflow of dollars into the local economy increased again in March and forced Costa Rica’s Central Bank to buy more U.S. currency.
From March 1-22, $420.6 million was negotiated during 16 sessions at the Foreign Currency Negotiation Market (MONEX).
This amount is 44 percent higher than the total traded in February and exceeds the average monthly negotiations since January 2010, MONEX reported.
The behavior is described by government officials as “seasonal” in nature, instead of considering it an effect caused by the influx of capital in late 2012 and January 2013.
Although in the past three years trading at Monex has tended to accelerate in March, this year’s hike was the highest. The volume traded increased from $291 million in February to $420.5 million in March.
In March, the Central Bank was forced to buy $249.68 million to prevent the currency from falling below the lower-band limit of ₡500. This amount is 59 percent of total dollars traded.