November 12, 2012 / 3:55 PM / in 5 years

UPDATE 1-Panama's annual inflation eases to 5.3 pct in October

PANAMA CITY, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Panama’s consumer price index rose 5.3 percent in the year to October, the lowest annual inflation rate in more than a year, the government statistics agency said on Monday.

Consumer prices rose 0.1 percent in October from September, maintaining the same pace of growth as in the previous month and easing annual inflation from the 5.4 percent notched through September.

October’s annual inflation rate was the lowest since August 2011.

The consumer price index was buoyed by rises in the price of cars and health services, while fresh fruit prices fell.

Rapid growth in Panama’s dollarized economy and massive spending on an expansion of the Panama canal have maintained pressure on prices, although inflation has been decelerating since hitting 6.3 percent in March.

The government has forecast 6 percent inflation for 2012.

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