Inflation measured through the Consumer Price Index (IPC) in the metropolitan area of Caracas increased 1.3% in August, below the 1.4% registered in July; a variation that shows a downward trend.
Accumulated inflation for the first eight months of 2004 was 14.1%, lower than that of the same period in 2003, which was 18.9%.

This slight decrease was a result of a lower variation in some controlled products, from 0.9% to 0.7%; since the variation rates for the non controlled goods and services remained the same (1.9%) as in the previous month.

The monthly IPC variation rate for this period is related to the registered deceleration in three of the groups included in this index: home equipment, from 4.3% to 0.4%;home services, from 2.9% to 0.3%; education services, from 1.4% to 0%.
Likewise, there was relative stability in relation to the previous month in health and communications (0.8% and 0.1% respectively), compared to greater increases registered in: recreation and culture, from 0.2% to 0.6%; alcoholic beverages and tobacco, from 0% to 0.5%; transportation, from 0.9% to 1.4%; various goods and services, from 0.4% to 0.9%; restaurants and hotels, from 1% to 1.7%; and foods and non alcoholic beverages from 2% to 2.7%.

Services in general registered an important deceleration, from 1.5% to 0.8%; unlike goods, which registered greater variations, from 1.3% to 1.9%. Thus, the gap between goods and services is the same as the one prior to June.

Annual growth of the IPC from August/2003 to August/2004 was 21.9%; considerably lower than the 30.4% increase for the same period for 2002/2003.

The lower income families (levels I and II) reported higher price variations (1.5%) than the 1.3% variation registered for the higher income families (levels III and IV); a result of the greater impact that increases in food and clothing have on lower budget families.

Published in Quantum No 30.