Inflation closed the year at 4.09% in Colombia, slightly above the central bank’s target range but well below the 5.75% rate of 2016, according to government figures.
The Banco de la República has set a target range of between 2%-4%, but while this figure is a touch above above that threshold, it is in line with a recent projection for the year of 4.05%.
Moreover, the central bank turned its attention away from trying to control inflation this year in favor of focusing on slow economic growth, continually cutting the nation’s benchmark interest rate in hopes of kickstarting more spending and economic activity in a country where the GDP is now expanding below 2%.
Throughout the year, the largest contributions to the rise in the consumer price index were recreation (7.69%), education (7.41%), communications (6.43%), and healthcare (6.43%), according to the National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE).
Food costs, which spiked by 7.22% in 2016 due to a harvest that was reduced by an El Niño-induced drought and the transportation issues of a 45-day trucker strike, saw the lowest increase this year. Food prices rose by only 1.92% in 2017.
The news for the consumer was even better compared to two years prior. In 2015, food prices skyrocketed even more, rising by 10.9% during the year, according to DANE.
Clothing (1.98%) was another area that only increased slightly in 2017, while transportation (4.52%) and housing (4.49%) costs rose slightly above the overall inflation rate.