The measures that the Government of President Nayib Bukele has put in place to mitigate the effects of the international inflationary crisis in the country have allowed El Salvador to register the lowest increases in the prices of products in Central America. This was underlined by the president of the Consumer Ombudsman, Ricardo Salazar, before the deputies of the Agricultural Commission of the Legislative Assembly.
Salazar provided a balance of the results obtained so far by the list of measures taken by President Bukele since last March in the face of the escalation of prices worldwide.
The official specified that inflation in El Salvador closed the month of July at 7.5%, while in Guatemala it reached 8.4%, 10.9% in Honduras and 11.5% in both Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
“This is not the result of chance, it is the result of the measures that were taken in advance at the moment in which the impact of this international crisis began to be glimpsed,” stressed the head of the Ombudsman.
These results are also reflected in the inflation indices referring to the price of food. Thus, the country registers a percentage of food inflation of 14.2%, slightly above Guatemala, which registers an increase of 12.7%, while in Honduras it is 16.5%, in Nicaragua 18.3% and in Costa Rica 21.1%.
Salazar explained that the temporary suspension of import tariffs on more than 20 products, including food and agricultural supplies, as well as the stabilization of fuel prices, has played a determining role in these results, which has generated a direct impact on freight transportation costs.
In this sense, he also recalled that El Salvador has the lowest fuel prices in Central America. An example of this is the price per gallon of superior gasoline, which in the country is $4.31, while in Panama it is $4.32, $4.61 in Guatemala, $4.75 in Honduras, $5.15 in Nicaragua and even $6.52 in Costa Rica, indicated the official.
Similarly, he stressed that the country also has the lowest prices in the region for liquefied petroleum gas, essential for food preparation, thanks to the increase in its subsidy and the expansion of its coverage, which has allowed the cylinder of 25 pounds has a cost of $3.09, while in Honduras it is $9.73, $12.24 in Nicaragua, $14.73 in Costa Rica and $15.77 in Guatemala.
The head of the Ombudsman highlighted that together with these measures “a task that is unprecedented in El Salvador” has been launched, in terms of verification of compliance, detailing that from last March to August 31 they have carried out carried out 118,839 verifications together with institutions such as the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.
Of this total of verifications, 80,457 correspond to the food sector, some 34,400 to the prices of fuels and liquefied petroleum gas, and more than 3,900 to the prices of agricultural inputs. “This has allowed us for the time being to have extensive monitoring throughout the supply chain,” the official said.
Salazar specified that, as a result of these verifications, 55 cases have been presented to the Sanctioning Court of the Consumer Protection Office (including producers, importers and supermarkets) for unjustified price increases or obstruction of investigations by not providing the required information. These could become creditors of fines of up to 500 minimum wages.
Source: Summa Magazine