Inflation continues on its downward path, since in June the Consumer Price Index (CPI) registered an annual variation of 12.13%below the data of 12.36% that the indicator had recorded for May and also below the forecast estimated by the market.
This figure was reached after in the sixth month of the year the prices of the basic basket of Colombians showed an increase of 0.30% in relation to the previous month. It is worth mentioning that in June 2022, monthly inflation had been 0.51%.
According to the director of Dane, Piedad Urdinolain June the categories that increased the most were those of transport, with a monthly variation of 1.08%; The one of the restaurants and hotels (0.56%), especially on the side of the meals served at the table; and the alcoholic beverages and tobaccowith an increase of 0.48%.
“Within transportation, the component that is having the most implications is the increase in fuels, and within them, gasoline, as has been experienced this year”, indicated Urdinola.
The official also mentioned that, for the second consecutive month, a negative number was registered in the group of food and drinkswhich showed a reduction of -0.53% in the month.
It is worth mentioning that this item was the one that pushed inflation up the most during the last two years, due to the weight it has in the basket of Colombians.
Another category that has a significant impact on inflation is that of utilities and rent. Despite the fact that it only rose 0.48% in the month, it was the one that contributed the most to the variation, 0.15 percentage points, due to the proportion within household spending that it represents.
With these data, annual inflation showed a correction to 12.13%. However, this figure is still 2.46 percentage points above the indicator a year agosince inflation in June 2022 was 9.67% in annual terms.
And by categories, Transportation became the item with the highest price increase in the last twelve months, with inflation of 18.19%as a response to the increases in gasoline prices that the Government has been implementing since October of last year and that already accumulate an increase of $3,800.
This is followed by the category of restaurants and hotels, with a rise in prices of 17.43% if compared to those of June 2022; the household items and their conservationwithin which are classified the soaps and other toiletries, which have an inflation of 14.61%; The group of miscellaneous goods and services (14.38%) and that of food and non-alcoholic beverageswhich despite having reduced its inflation remains at 14.31%.
“We are already seeing this reorganization of the different spending divisions. Now the one that is contributing the most is transportation, while in the final months of last year we saw food and beverages in first place, and with an advantage over the other sectors, while we are already seeing the contraction of inflation at various levelsUrdinola explained.
By contributions, food and non-alcoholic beverages continue to be the group that contributes the most to annual inflation, with 2.72 percentage points out of the 12.13 points registered by inflation in June, and in second place are the utilities and rentwith 2.54 points, and transportation in third, with 2.3 points.
The inflation data for the year to date showed that during the first semester consumer prices showed an increase of 6.15%.
According to Dane, in the first six months of 2023, Colombians also experienced the largest increase in prices in the transportation category, with a growth of 11.36% in prices, although the increase in prices also stands out. education (8.89%), restaurants and hotels (8.72%) and furniture and household items and their conservation (7.67%).
El Dane also reported that, by city, the largest increase in prices in June occurred in sincelejowith an increase of 0.70%, Bucaramanga (0.61%) and Florence (0.56%), while the lowest data were presented in Popayan (-0.02%), riohacha (0.04%) and cucuta (0.07%).
The entity also reported that, by income levels, high-income households experienced a 0.39% price increase in the month, in the middle class relative inflation was 0.30%, while in vulnerable households it was 0.19% and the poor 0.15%. This impact is also related to transportation and gasoline spending.
Price outlook for the end of the year
With the performance that the CPI has had in the last three months, Analysts have been confirming their inflation expectations for the end of the period.
From the Governmentfor example, the expectation is at 9.2%, while the technical team of the Bank of the Republic estimates a figure of 9.5%.
On the banks side, entities such as Bancolombia maintain a projection of around 9% for December, while BBVA expects inflation at 9.2%.
Other forecasts are more optimistic, such as that of Scotiabank Colpatriawhich expects the CPI to end 2023 with an annual variation of 8.8%.
Similarly, the last Survey of Expectations of the Bank of the Republicin which 37 market analysts participated, estimated that inflation will close the year at 9.04%, while in the last edition of the Financial Opinion Survey (EOF) of Fedesarrollo the consensus was in a figure of 9.22%.
LAURA LUCIA BECERRA ELEJALDE