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Colombia Inflation Jumps over 10% More Than Forecast to Highest Since 1999 – Bloomberg

  • Annual inflation rate rose to 12.53% in November, led by food
  • Result pressures central bank to extend tightening cycle
A chart showing consumer prices rose 12.53% in November from the same month a year ago.
Consumer prices rose 12.53% in November from the same month a year ago. (Bloomberg)

Oscar Medina, Bloomberg News
EnergiesNet.com 12 05 2022

Colombia’s inflation accelerated more than expected in November, to near a 24-year high, maintaining pressure on the central bank to extend its steepest-ever tightening cycle.

Consumer prices rose 12.53% in November from the same month a year ago, the fastest pace since March 1999, the statistics agency reported Monday. That compares to a 12.35% median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg. 

The increase was led by food costs, which rose 27% from a year earlier, while restaurants, rents, and fuel prices also pressured the increase.

Since last year policymakers have raised interest rates by 9.25 percentage points to 11%, the highest since 2001, as inflation soared to more than four times its 3% inflation target. Economists surveyed by the central bank expect an interest-rate hike of one percentage point at its Dec. 16 meeting. 

“There are widespread inflation pressures, not just rising food prices,” Gustavo Acero, an economist at Banco de Bogota, said by phone. “The result confirms the scenario of an increase of 100 basis points, and possibly the rate-hike cycle extending beyond December.”

Among Latin America’s major economies, inflation has peaked in Brazil, Chile, Peru and Mexico while prices continue to rise in Colombia and Argentina. Two of the region’s major central banks — Brazil’s and Chile’s — have ended record tightening campaigns.

Analysts and investors are closely watching the negotiations of the minimum wage for 2023 as many services, including rents, health fees and minimum pension payments are tied to such a rise. Deputy Finance Minister Diego Guevara said last month that the agreement between employers and workers could be around 15%.

–With assistance from Giovanna Serafim.

bloomberg.com 12 05 2022

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