SANTIAGO – Inflation in Chile last year was 2.3 percent, the lowest in five years, the National Institute of Statistics (INE) said on Monday.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) grew just 0.1 percent in December, short of analysts’ expectations of a 0.2 percent increase.
The 12-month rate represents a drop from 2.7 percent in 2016 and is well within the Chilean central bank’s target range of 2 percent to 4 percent over a two-year cycle.
Central bank forecasts call for inflation to edge closer to 3 percent in the third quarter of 2018.
Five of the 12 categories that make up the CPI market basket showed positive variations, while six reflected price drops and one held steady, the INE said.
The sectors with the largest increases were transportation (1.4 percent) and miscellaneous goods and services (0.9 percent), while prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages fell 0.5 percent.
Among specific goods and services, the cost of urban transportation soared 26.1 percent, fuel prices climbed 2.7 percent and shoppers paid 10 percent more for potatoes.
Households benefited from a 1.5 percent retreat in prices for cooking gas and the price of tomatoes tumbled 16.1 percent.
Core CPI, which excludes fuels and fresh produce, dropped 0.1 percent in December to end 2017 with an overall rise of 1.9 percent.