Colombia fails to stop the increase in inflation, with 13.28% in February | The USA Print

The cost of living increased in Colombia again: this Saturday the National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE) revealed that in February it reached 13.26% in the last 12 months. It already has eight months above 10%, it continues to grow since in January it reached 13.25% and sets a new record for the 21st century, since it is the highest figure since March 1999, when inflation was declining and was at 13.51%.

The increase during the month of February was 1.66%%. In February 2022, when inflation was already rising, it was 1.63%, another indicator that the ceiling has not yet reached: in the first two months of this year alone, the cost of living has grown by 3.48 %. Although the monthly increase data in February was lower than that of January, when the increase during the month was 1.78%, it is not unusual for February to be lower than in January, when prices are adjusted with the retail price index. consumer (CPI) of the previous year in elements such as new lease contracts, fines to the State or public transport fares.

The big driver of the increase in costs in February was education, with an 8.5% increase. As these are regulated prices and January is a month of vacations and the start of the school year and university semester in the bulk of education, the impact was felt last month. In all education it had a very high increase: in preschool and primary it grew 8.127%, in secondary 8.35% and in higher education 9.61%. Again, the increase reflects an indexation authorized by the Government from the high CPI of 2022.

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Only this item had a noticeable impact. If education had not grown, the increase in the IPS would be below January, since it alone produced an increase of 0.31% in the index. Since it will not grow at the same rate this March, there is hope that February was the highest point of the inflationary escalation and that the figure will begin to drop this month.

The good news is that the two sectors that marked inflation in 2022, public services (including energy) and food, increased less. The category of food and non-alcoholic beverages did so at 1.6%; accommodation, water, electricity, gas and other fuels, at 0.95%.

In addition, the information from the National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE) shows a sign of what may finally be a social relief: in 2023 the cost of living has been felt more by the richest families than the poorest. So far this year, people living in poverty have seen an increase of 3.18%, while those with high incomes, who spend more on education, have seen a rise of 3.59%. This is in stark contrast to 2022, when inflation hit the most vulnerable hardest, reinforcing inequality gaps.


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