Ecuadorian Prices Rose at Slowest Pace in 10 Months in April

Ecuador’s consumer-price index rose in April at the slowest monthly pace since June, easing pressure on the government to impose more price controls on food and other staples.

Prices increased 0.16 percent from March and advanced 5.42 percent from a year earlier, the National Statistics and Census Institute said today in a report on its website. Producer prices rose 0.31 percent from the previous month and climbed 4.3 percent from April 2011, the report said.

The government, which has said it will intervene in markets to slow price increases if necessary, doesn’t expect inflation of more than “one digit” this year, central bank President Pedro Delgado said April 19. The government already controls the cost of some types of bread, wholesale rice and bus tickets.

The fastest annual inflation was in the coastal city of Manta, where prices jumped 7.06 percent in April from a year earlier, while they rose 4.35 percent in Guayaquil, the nation’s largest city.

Ecuador last week renewed an emergency decree allowing authorities to send aid to seven coastal provinces where rains damaged crops, disrupted supply chains and led to electricity shortages.

Ecuador, the smallest member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, subsidizes fuel costs and the domestic use of natural gas.

Year-on-year consumer price increases are forecast to average 5.14 percent this year, compared with 4.47 percent in 2011, according to the Finance Ministry’s 2012 budget.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nathan Gill in Quito at ngill4@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at jgoodman19@bloomberg.net.

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