(Reuters) – Colombia’s consumer price inflation in September was 0.29 percent, unchanged from the same month a year ago, the government said on Saturday.
The increase, driven mainly by housing, food and healthcare costs, was higher than market expectations. A Reuters survey of analysts had predicted inflation for September of 0.16 percent.
The cumulative inflation rate from January through September was 2.16 percent, down from 2.32 percent in the same period of 2012. Twelve-month inflation through September was 2.27 percent versus 3.08 percent in the prior 12-month period.
Housing costs increased 0.49 percent in September and food, which has a nearly 30 percent weighting in the calculation of consumer price inflation, rose 0.38 percent while healthcare costs rose 0.31 percent.
Education-related costs rose 0.14 percent, entertainment by 0.11 percent and clothing 0.01 percent. Communications costs fell overall by 0.04 percent.
Colombia’s inflation rate for calendar 2012 was 2.44 percent, close to the lower end of the central bank’s target range of between 2 and 4 percent, which has remained the same for 2013.
Relatively low inflation has enabled the bank to lop 200 basis points off the benchmark interest rate since July last year, then hold it at 3.25 percent for six straight months so far.