Consumer prices in Ecuador rose a the fastest pace in four months in July, led by increases in alcohol and food costs, the country’s statistics agency said today.
Prices in the Andean country, which uses the U.S. dollar as its official currency, gained 0.26 percent in the month, while annual inflation accelerated to 5.09 percent from 5 percent, the National Statistics and Census Institute said in a report on its website.
Ecuador’s government, faced with falling revenue as oil prices decline, requested a $515 million loan from the Latin American Reserve Fund last month to shore up liquidity. President Rafael Correa, a self-described socialist and ally of Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez, last month also increased taxes on imports of alcohol, vehicles and some other items to reduce capital outflows.
Prices rose the fastest in Manta, jumping 6.78 percent in July from the previous year, while inflation quickened to 4.57 percent in Guayaquil, the nation’s largest city, the agency said. Ecuador, the smallest member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, subsidizes fuel costs and the domestic use of natural gas.
Producer prices climbed 0.69 percent from the previous month and rose 2.99 percent from July 2011, the report said.
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