PANAMA CITY Jan 11 Panama's annual inflation
rate rose off a two-year low in December, the government
statistics agency said on Friday.
In the 12-month period through December, the consumer price
index rose 4.6 percent, speeding up from the 4.5 percent
increase notched in the year through November.
Consumer prices rose 0.3 percent in the month, compared to
November's 0.1 percent rise, mostly due to a 0.8 percent
increase in food and beverage prices that was fueled by a rise
in vegetable prices.
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 had been declining since August,
when it was 6.1 percent.
The government projected average 6 percent inflation for
2012, but it actually clocked in at 5.7 percent, the statistics
agency said Friday.