201603291747041.gasolinaQCOSTARICA – Tighten your belt, a gas price increase is on the way next week, that will once again send prices at the pumps over the ¢600 colones a litre.

The follows the approval by the Autoridad Reguladora de los Servicios Públicos (Aresep) of the Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo (RECOPE) request of June 13 to increase prices by ¢84 colones for a litre of super, ¢77 for regular (plus) and ¢71 for diesel.

No, this is not a misprint.

The new prices will take effect sometime next week. For the approval to take effect, it must be published in La Gaceta, the official government newsletter, within five working days.

The increase will mean an additional ¢3.780 colones to fill with a 45 litre tank with super when the price goes to ¢602 from the current ¢518. Regular will go from the current ¢498 to ¢575; and diesel from ¢380 to ¢451.

This increase does not include the ¢5 billion colones the ARESEP should add to the rates soon, as ordered by the Constitutional Court to resolve an appeal brought by RECOPE workers. That ruling overturned a decision by the ARESEP rejecting including spending rates under the collective agreement. So, even higher prices are around the corner.

Infograph by La Nacion, from RECOPE records
Infograph by La Nacion. Soruce: RECOPE

In the past year, gasoline prices kept dropping from a high of almost ¢700 (for super) in August 2015 to under ¢500 in March 2016. The slide to lower prices began with a big drop in October 2015 and even bigger drop in March 2016. But since have slowly climbed up, with this increase will be back to the May 2015 level.