Tuesday 4 October 2022

Economists project that poverty in Costa Rica could reach 33%

The cost of living is pushing more families over to the line of poverty

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04 October 2022 - At The Banks - BCCR

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QCOSTARICA – The College of Economic Sciences (Colegio de Ciencias Económicas) predicted an increase in poverty for the remainder of 2022, after recent figures on the cost of living, which reveal a year-on-year inflation of 11.48%.

The cost of the food basket rose ¢3,000 for each member of the family in the last month

According to the estimates, by the end of the year inflation would be around 10%, which would limit purchasing power and trigger poverty in between 27% and 33% of Costa Rican households; that is, some 65,000 more than a year ago.

The increase, according to economists, is due to the high cost of the basic basket – Canasta Básica Alimentaria (CBA) – which rose ¢3,000 for each family member in the last month, July, whose increase was the most abrupt of the year.

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According to the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INEC), which calculates monthly how much it would cost each member of a family to buy that basket, the cost of the CBA per person went from ¢55,988 to ¢58,951. The difference is ¢2,963, which represents an increase of 5.29% in a single month.

The President of the Colegio de Ciencias Económicas, Ennio Rodríguez, said that unemployment will have an impact in the country and insisted that the employment figures must be improved.

The dollar exchange, unemployment and interest rates are destabilizing factors

Also, calculations from the College of Economic Sciences indicate that inflation will end this year between 8% and 12%, outside the range of between 2% and 4% established by the Central Bank of Costa Rica (BCCR).

The Colegio de Ciencias Económicas also projects that, in the best of cases, the dollar exchange rate sell price coul be maintained at ¢675, but could also reach ¢695 by the end of the year.

Other factors leading to higher prices in Costa Rica recently is the container crisis, the changes in the production chains, and the Russian invasion in Ukraine.

 

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