San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Rise in Inflation Rate Slows in February

The inflation rate fell nearly an entire percentage point in February, as the National Statistics and Census Institute (INEC) reported that consumer prices increased an average of 0.69 percent over the course of the month.

In January, the inflation rate was measured at 1.63 percent, marking the highest increase in the consumer price index since August 2008.

In February, overall prices for education saw the biggest increase in cost, as expenses associated with attending university, high school, elementary school and preschool increased by more than 5 percent during the month. The price increase associated with education correlates with the return of students to school in early February after the year-end vacation period.

The prices of gasoline and of the casado, a traditional Costa Rican meal, also increased during the month.

However, the prices of some goods and services decreased. Expenses for entertainment and cultural activities fell by 0.92 percent in February, thanks in large part to the nearly 5 percent decrease in the prices of tourist packages and the more than 4 percent drop in the cost of airline tickets Each month INEC measures the price variations of 292 goods and services to determine the inflation rate. In the first two months of 2010, the accumulated inflation rate is at 2.32 percent and it stands at 5.6 percent over the course of the last 12 months.

–Adam Williams

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