By Lomi Kriel
PANAMA CITY Dec 13 Panama's annual inflation
rate eased to its slowest in two years as transportation costs
fell o n declining fuel prices, the government statistics agency
said on Thursday.
In the 12-month period through November, the consumer price
index rose 4.5 percent, slowing from the 5.3 percent increase
notched in the year through October. November's annual inflation
rate was the lowest since November 2010 when it clocked in at
In the month of November alone, the CPI rose 0.1 percent, on
par with October's monthly rise.
Checking inflation in November was a 2.2 percent drop in
transit costs as gasoline prices fell, the statistics institute
said. That helped offset price rises in other sectors, such as
food and beverages, which rose 1 percent and in utilities, which
rose 0.6 percent.
Rapid growth in Panama's dollarized economy and massive
public infrastructure spending, including a $5.25 billion
expansion of the Panama Canal, have fed inflationary pressures.
The annual inflation rate has been declining since August,
when it was 6.1 percent.
The government has projected 6 percent inflation for 2012.