Nicaragua closes the first quarter with annual inflation of 5.43 percent

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By LatAm Reports Staff Writers

Nicaragua closed the first quarter with year-on-year inflation of 5.43 percent, below 9.53 percent reflected in the same period last year, according to data from the National Development Information Institute (Inide). Only the price movement in April was 0.43 percent, quite similar to 0.44 percent last year.

The rapid market price movement caused the basket in April to surpass, for the first time in 40 years, the 20,400 córdobas, driven by the increase in food and non-alcoholic drinks, while wages remain stagnant.

Thus, accumulated inflation stood at 1.96 per cent, slightly lower than the 2.13 per cent reached until April last year. For its part, the year-on-year underlying was 5.40 per cent, compared to 8.61 per cent in the reference period.

In April, the foods that suffered the most price hikes were milk derivatives, such as: cheese (9.72 percent rise) and curd (3.21 percent). Fruits were also stunned as

Orange (12.76 percent), lemon (13.92 percent) and pineapple (0.67 percent). In parallel, households also experienced an increase in the price of rice.

Only the non-alcoholic food and beverage group reported a combined rise of 0.96 percent.

Parallel to the increase in food, they also saw increases within the group of restaurants and hotels of 0.11 percent in April. In particular, food served in restaurants and foods (0.47 percent) was increased, according to the Inide report.

Until recreating it became more expensive in Nicaragua. In the fourth month of the year, pet food rose (2.74 per cent), monthly gyms (0.67 per cent) and televisions (1.62 per cent).

Official figures also report an increase in the prices of clothing and footwear, of 0.24 percent. Dressing footwear for men and boys over 10 years of age (0.71 per cent) were priced; men’s and girls’ clothing shoes over 10 years of age (0.34 per cent) and sports shoes for men and women (0.58 per cent).

After several weeks of delay, the National Development Information Institute (Inide) published the monthly price reports of the basic basket products, which reflect that in the first four months of 2024 the price of the basket rose 646.77 córdobas.

The president of the Central Bank (BCN), Ovidio Reyes, admitted last week that inflation, although last year showed a slight decline, this year has remained stagnant. Inflation that was already falling, last year it stood at about 5.5 percent, this year that rate has been maintained. It hasn’t gone down as fast as we expected because in the world prices came back to having an increase again, which is good and bad. It’s bad because all these prices impact domestic prices, and basically on the purchases of goods and services, but it’s good because the prices of all our export products right now have a fairly attractive level, which we would expect to be a driver of greater production by 2024, he explained.

However, economist Néstor Avendaño since last year has warned that the Central Bank must increase efforts to lower underlying inflation, which remains above its natural history and is the one that really impacts Nicaraguans.

It is advisable that macroeconomic policy makers monitor the behaviour of the underlying inflation rate and prevent them from moving away from the above-mentioned inflationary range and reappearing the risk of a forced landing, which has already dissipated, and which is characterized by a fall in production, an increase in unemployment and a reduction in high inflationary pressure, Avendaño said in its analysis: A surprise of a low average income economy. 

This article has been translated after first appearing in La Prensa NI