In T&T: Inflation rises in February

26 March 2012

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THE rate of inflation in Trinidad and Tobago is climbing quickly

Inflation rose to 9.2 per cent for the month of February. This was up from 6.8 per cent in January, the Central Bank said in its latest Repo report yesterday.

The dominant factor behind the rise continues to be food prices.

Food inflation reached 20.2 per cent in February, compared to 14 per cent in January.

The Central Bank cited adverse local weather conditions in the earlier months, as well as international price increases in dairy products and animal feed as reasons for higher prices.

The year-on-year price increase for fruits was 53.9 per cent; vegetables, 24.5 per cent; 8.6 per cent for milk, cheese and eggs; and 6.9 per cent for meat. Reports of reduced catches contributed the 13.6 per cent increase for fish.

“The rise in headline inflation warrants close and continuous monitoring. The volatile food component has driven overall inflation, while the steadiness of core inflation suggests that underlying demand pressures continue to be contained. While credit conditions have been improving, there is little evidence as yet of a sustained recovery in private demand,” said the Bank.

Against this background, the Bank said it will maintain the Repo or overnight lending rate to commercial banks at 3.0 per cent, and keep economic and monetary conditions under close review.

The next report is scheduled for April 27.


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