(prensa.com) The basic family consumption basket cost $279.92 in the districts of Panama and San Miguelito in November 2010, representing an increase of $13.17 or 4.7 percent compared with the same month in 2009.
The Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) also reported that this indicator recorded a monthly increase of 46 cents or 0.16 percent compared to October, when the basic basket averaged $279.46.
The MEF report further indicates that comparing the cost of the products included in the basic family basket – of which there are fifty – between October and November this year, 22 items registered decreases in prices, 15 registered price hikes, and 13 products remained at the same price as the previous month.
Cereals were one of the food groups that reported the highest price hikes (67 cents, or 1.2 percent), along with corn tortillas (4.1 percent), flute bread (3.9 percent), and pasta (2.8 percent).
The cost of rice also increased, as did that of vegetable oil. “It’s very difficult to find any explanation for these increases in terms of the rising price of food in the basic food basket (for those domestically-produced items).
The economic portfolio attributes the price hikes to the rise in production costs, including such components as electricity, while acknowledging that some people attribute part of the increase to the tax on goods and services, which was increased from 5 percent to 7 percent this past July.