Inflation in Colombia continues without finding its maximum.
After closing 2022 at 13.12%, this Saturday the National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE) revealed that in January it continued to rise and accumulated 13.25% in the last 12 months.
With this data, it continues to break records so far this century and accumulates seven months with figures above 10%.
It is the highest figure since March 1999, when inflation was falling and was at 13.51%.
The increase in January was 1.78%.
In January 2022, when inflation was already rising and was at 6.94%, it was 1.67%.
The month of January always has higher inflation compared to other months, since prices are adjusted with the consumer price index (CPI) of the previous year in elements such as new lease contracts, State fines or public transport fares. .
In the press conference to present these results, this Saturday, the director of DANE, Piedad Urdinola, explained that it was precisely this last sector, that of transportation, that marked inflation the most.
It grew by 3.98%.
"The protagonist for this month was transportation and it is basically explained by the increases in municipal transportation and municipal transportation," she said.
For this reason, while last year what weighed the most in the monthly increase were food and non-alcoholic beverages, this time transport pulled more: of 1.78% of total inflation, mobility put 0.51% and food 0.49%.
Behind the figures there is a growing human drama: when inflation was around 10%, a lower-class woman from Bogotá, Patricia Villarraga, explained to this newspaper that meat is often enough for her children, so she can go days without trying a single protein.
The good news comes in others.
One is that electricity has slowed its cost increase, with 0.71% in January, when last year it was another factor in the increase in the cost of living.
Another is that a downward price of food price increases begins;
DANE recalls that although they continue to grow, basic foods such as bananas, milk or potatoes are beginning to slow down their increases.
Lastly, Uridinola highlighted that for the first time in three months the result for the month is below the maximum expected by market analysts, an indication that the speed of the increase may slow down.
The Bank of the Republic has increased the reference interest rate throughout the past year and at its meeting on January 27 it raised it to 12.75%, a slighter increase than the previous ones but reaching the ceiling of the cost of borrowing in this century.
Its forecast for this year is that inflation will begin to drop towards the second quarter, but that it will close the year at 8.7%, a less alarming figure than the current one but which in any case implies a substantial price rise.
to the EL PAÍS newsletter on Colombia and receive all the latest information on the country.