April 13, 2018 / 4:39 PM / a year ago

Panama reports inflation of 0.6 percent in March

PANAMA CITY (Reuters) - Panama consumer prices rose 0.6 percent in March from the same month last year, driven by increases in prices for education, restaurants and hotels, the Central American nation’s comptroller said on Friday.

Between January and March, Panama registered inflation of 0.4 percent, according to the Index of Consumer Prices (IPC) report.

In March, the prices that rose most were for education (3.7 percent), restaurants and hotels (2.9 percent), transportation (1.8 percent) and health (1.7 percent).

By contrast, prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages fell 1.5 percent in March from the same month last year.

Since 2014, Panama has maintained a price control program for the most-consumed products in the country, which authorities credit with helping keep inflation below 1 percent.

The country ended 2017 with inflation of 0.9 percent.

Reporting by Elida Moreno; writing by Julia Love; Editing by David Gregorio

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