February 2009, Mark Weisbrot and David Rosnick

This paper looks briefly at the recent inflation experiences of ten Latin American countries: Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, and Bolivia. The authors construct a core inflation index (excluding food and energy), and look at three-month changes in both headline and core inflation.

The paper focuses on the increase in inflation from April 2007 to July 2008, driven by a surge in food and energy prices worldwide. These prices have since dropped considerably. The authors conclude that macroeconomic policy that does not take into account the temporary nature of these price shocks may result in an unnecessary slowing of growth, with reduced output and employment.

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