Inflation holds steady in March but Finance Ministry expects prices to rise in 2022
Annual inflation showed little change in March, registering an annual rate of 2.64 percent, a slight increase from 2021. Among the products and services showing the largest increase were high-test gasoline, inter-provincial transportation, automobiles and furniture.
In a statement, Ecuador’s Ministry of Finance warned consumers that prices are expected to rise throughout 2022. “We believe inflation will increase due to the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine. We are very much influenced by the international economic events, which remain fluid and difficult to predict.”
The Ministry said that Ecuador is faring “exceptionally well” compared to other countries in Latin America. “We have the lowest inflation rate in the region and we believe this will continue to be the case. Many countries are experiencing rates of over 10 percent, which are expected to continue to increase..”
The Ministry said it was pleased that food prices held steady from February to March. “This is always our major concern because it affects the most people,” the Ministry statement said.
According to the National Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC), the cost of the “Basic Family Basket” of essential products and services increased 11 cents nationally from February to March, rising to $725.27.
Among the country’s major cities, Cuenca’s “Basic Family Basket” was the most expensive at $756.79 while Santo Domingo’s was the least expensive at $714.37.