Consumer prices rose by 8.4% mom in April (from 7.7% in March), beating market expectations of 7.5% according to the central bank survey. Inflation accelerated for a fifth consecutive month, driving annualized quarterly inflation to 140.3% in the quarter ended in April (from 120.0% in 1Q23). The 12-month inflation reading came in at 108.8%.
Core inflation also hit 8.4% in April (up from 7.2% in March), led by food and beverages. Annualized core inflation jumped to 145.0% in the quarter ended in April, from 119.0% in 1Q23. Prices for regulated items rose by 4.9% mom and 98.9% yoy, led by adjustments in educational institutions. Prices for seasonal products rose by 12.6% mom and 142.9% yoy.
We recently raised our inflation forecast for this year to 125% from 110%, amid loose fiscal and monetary policies, and despite the large, expected contraction in activity. Recent adjustments in regulated prices (including tariffs) and rising uncertainties surrounding the electoral cycle are not supportive of a moderation of inflation in the coming months. We therefore see upside risk to our forecast for YE23.
Juan Carlos Barboza