Food inflation rises in Caribbean, Latin America

“After four months of relative stability, we now see there is an upturn of food inflation in the region,” said Fernando Soto Baquero, deputy director of Policy Support Division at the FAO’s regional headquarters in the Chilean capital. The FAO advises governments “to strengthen their social protection networks and to increase the support for family-based agricultural food production to ease the impact caused by the rising food prices.”

The biggest monthly increase of the inflation rate was registered in Mexico, Peru and Venezuela, where prices rose more than 1.5 per cent in July compared with the previous month. Venezuela is still the country with the highest food inflation, which exceeded 25 per cent last year. Bolivia, Paraguay, the Dominican Republic and Uruguay registered annual inflation rates higher than 10 per cent, while inflation rates also increased at lower levels in El Salvador and Honduras. In Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama, the food inflation rates have remained stable or even fallen compared to June. Argentina has kept both inflation indexes at a stable level in the past three months with 8.2 per cent in general and 9.7 per cent for food items, said the FAO.

In its latest repo rate announcement, the Central Bank stated that food price inflation in T&T measured 1.6 per cent in July (year-on-year) compared with 0.1 per cent in June. It said that higher international prices of agricultural commodities such as wheat are beginning to be passed through to domestic prices. The Central Bank cited as an example the fact that the prices of breads and cereals rose to 3.7 per cent on a 12-month basis in July compared with 2.3 per cent in June.

 

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