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Colombian President Gustavo Petro: why are electricity prices more than double the inflation rate?

Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro is urging power sector authorities to explain why electricity prices have risen more than double the inflation rate, especially in the Caribbean region, while water reservoirs of hydroelectric plants stand at high levels.

Annual inflation accelerated to 10.84% ​​in August, its fastest pace since 1999, boosted by more expensive food, rents, and utilities, among others. Electricity costs on average jumped 26% from the previous year. In the Caribbean coast provinces, they soared by more than 40%.

“The Ministry of Mines and Energy will publicly explain to the Caribbean region why Caribbean fees are rising so substantially,” Petro posted on social media on Monday.

Inflation for August came in above all 19 estimates from economists in a Bloomberg survey, boosting odds of additional interest rate increases. The central bank holds its next monetary policy meeting on Sept. 30.

Pantheon Macroeconomics expects inflation to continue accelerating in the coming months, peaking at around 11.8% in October, before gradually slowing to around 11% in December and 8.3% in the first quarter, economist Andres Abadia wrote in a note.

An inflation gauge that excludes items with more volatile prices accelerated to 7.83% from a year earlier. Colombia targets inflation of 3%, plus or minus 1 percentage point.

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