San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Prices continue to inflate, squeeze Costa Rican consumer

Costa Ricans continue to bow under rising consumer prices as inflation reached 8.83 percent at the end of July, compared to 5.62 percent the same period last year, according to the National Statistics and Census Institute (INEC).


With prices rising at such a clip, the Central Bank’s year-end inflation goal of 14 percent, revised last week from its original 8 percent, could be far from reach.


According to INEC, the price of basic goods and services rose by 2.14 percent in July alone. That bumps inflation year to date to 8.83 percent, and year-on-year inflation (July 2007 to July6 2008) to 14.17 percent.


Of the 292 items INEC measures as part of its “basic basket” of goods and services, 75 percent increased in price and 17 percent dropped.


Transportation, food and beverages were the areas that saw the biggest jumps. Rising prices at the pump and at car dealerships pushed transportation costs, while milk increased even more for dairy lovers.


Among those items that fell in price were tomatoes, eggs and cilantro.


At the end of June 2008, Costa Rica placed eighth among Latin American countries for semester-end inflation, at 6.55 percent. Venezuela topped the list at 15.1 percent and Mexico saw the least inflation at 2.03 percent.

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