Through the Star of Panama
Of the 12 groups of National Urban Consumer Price Index (CPI) items and services used to measure this indicator, seven saw increases in 2021. Among them, the two with the greatest weight in the structure of the CPI on information from the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) disclosed in the financial account 2021.
In 2021, National Urban’s price level rose to 1.6% in a scenario of greater commercial opening, reactivation of employment contracts and easing of the confinement measures introduced by the Covid-19 pandemic, which had a major impact on the economy in general. mainly related to the increase in fuel prices in the face of greater global demand.
This behavior comes after two consecutive years of negative swings: 2019 at -0.36% and 2020 at -1.55%, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC).
Among the products that rose the most were groceries and non-alcoholic beverages (up 1.6%), with chicken (7.5%) and canned beans (7.3%) rising in price. Added to this is transport (9.2%), which has a greater impact on the increase in fuel prices for cars (35.2%). due to higher international prices, product of growing demand due to reactivation of economies.
The decreases occurred in the CPI of the remaining 5 groups: housing, water, electricity and gas (3.7%), due to a lower price in the electricity tariff (-17.6%), given the subsidies provided by the state to support household economies, mainly those affected by the pandemic.
Also education (0.86%), due to a reduction in higher education prices (-5.8%), due to fee adjustments and efforts to maintain or avoid a reduction in university student participation.
Clothing and footwear (0.45%) also suffered a decline, mainly due to girls’ footwear (-1.5%); Communication (0.18%), with a fall in the price of telephones (-2.2%), due to continuous promotions AND in leisure and culture (0.10%), due to a greater reduction in the cost of sound carriers (2.3 %). .
The weights used to calculate the National Urban Index they are based on the consumer spending of 8,751 households of different monthly income levels, examined in the “Household Income and Expenditure Survey” Conducted in 2007/08 in the districts of Panama and San Miguelito and some urban areas of the districts of Colón, La Chorrera and Arraiján, Penonomé and Aguadulce, Chitré and Las Tablas, Santiago, David and Changuinola.
The MEF argued before the National Assembly’s Economic and Financial Commission that in the energy line the second largest subsidy, the national government provided $336.8 million, a figure 67.2% higher than the $201.5 million approved in 2020, with a variance of $135.4 million; In addition, it covers 14% of total household subsidies ($2,311.5 million).
Breaking down the electricity subsidy, it breaks it down into three parts: the Tariff Stabilization Fund (FET), the Extraordinary FET for covid-19 (FET covid-19) and the Western Tariff Fund (FTO).
For fiscal year 2021, the government allocated a total of $186.9 million to the FET; for the extraordinary FET due to Covid-19, $128.8 million; and for the FTO, $21.2 million. The FET Covid-19 is another government-approved measure due to the Covid-19 pandemic that has been extended to 2021. Duration of these measures to ensure uninterrupted availability of the service to citizens.
According to MEF The $135.4 million increase was primarily due to increases in electricity tariffs and increases in fuel consumption, among other factors.
Fuel costs are affecting Panamanians’ staple food basket and the latest report on the products that increased the most in supermarkets in April 2022, Compared to the month of March, the following are in order of hierarchy or allocation to the total cost of the CBFA: Corvina fish US$1.43 per kilogram, cassava US$0.27 per kilogram, lentils US$0.44 per kilogram, regular ground coffee $0.14 per 425 gram piece and tuna in water $0.06 per 142 gram can.
Referring to the observed price fluctuations in mini-supermarkets and grocery stores (routes), we can name the products that have increased the most: cassava $ 0.26 per kilogram, soup meat (rib) $ 0.46 per kilogram, Babilla (prime meat). beef) US$0.44 per kilogram, whole chicken without feathers with skin US$0.04 per kilogram and medium red apple US$0.02 per piece as shown in the table above.
In supermarkets, the biggest declines occurred in April: red apple fell $0.06 per unit, low-salt pressed white cheese was down $0.65 per kilogram, soda in plastic containers was down $0.20 per liter, the national mortadella with peppers (packaged) – $0.61 per kilogram and meat for soup (rib) – $0.19 per kilogram. In mini-supermarkets and grocery stores (routes), the products that fell were: low-salt pressed white cheese -B/.1.79 per kilogram, corn flakes (corn flakes) cajeta -US$.0.58 box of 300 grams, the thigh chicken with skin – $0.32 per kilogram, lettuce – $0.26 per kilogram, kale – $0.16 per kilogram.
In order to provide consumers with price information on the various essential goods and services for consumption, ACODECO monitors the prices of CBFA products on a monthly basis and covers the following areas: Bella Vista, Bethania, Juan Diaz, Parque Lefevre, Pueblo Nuevo, San Francisco , San Miguelito, Santa Ana and Calidonia, East Panama. A total of 51 supermarkets and 39 street establishments (mini-supermarkets and grocery stores) were visited in these areas. A total of 90 companies