Brazil registered the highest inflation in the Mercosur in 2004, as gauged by the Combined Consumer Price Index (IPCH), announced today for the first time by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE).
The information was confirmed by analogous agencies in the other four members of the bloc (Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Chile). The IPCH considered price changes for 12 consumer items and services in each country.
The cumulative IPCH in Brazil in 2004 was 7.7%. Uruguay took second place, with an IPCH of 7.3%, followed by Argentina (6.0%) and Paraguay (2.9%). Chile had the lowest inflation rate last year (2.6%).
For the period between January, 2000, and December, 2004, Brazil’s aggregate inflation rate of 53.5% was only surpassed by Uruguay’s (63.2%). After Brazil came Argentina (52.9%), Paraguay (51.7%), and Chile (16.1%).
The biggest increase in Brazil between January, 2000, and December, 2004, was in the food and beverage sector, followed by transportation, rents, water, electricity, and gas and other fuels.
The transportation sector contributed the most in Uruguay, while in Argentina the prices of alcoholic beverages and cigarettes weighed most heavily. In Paraguay, it was the communications sector, and in Chile, transportation.
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