As Panama boasts a booming economy,the canasta (basic cost of food for a family to survive) rose 8.32% in April over the same month last year making survival a battle for many.
The canasta now stands at $309.43 and is growing at a rate in excess of increased income for the average worker.
It was $2.41 up over the month of March and $.23.77 or 8.32% up over April 2011.
Of the 10 food groups that make up the basket, six increased prices. These included cereals, legumes, fruits, fats and dairy.
According to the latest report of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, only two reported no change (sugar and eggs) and only two divisions had a lower cost (meat and vegetables).
The increases ranged ranging from 0.97% (fat) and 7.31% (fruits). While declines were 3.12% in plants and vegetables, and 0.25% for meat.
Segregating the data by type of food, of the 50 products that make up the basic family basket, 27 showed increases, 15 decreases and 8 reported no variations.
The basic family consumption considered a low average intake of 2,305 calories per person per day.
It is structured in 10 groups and 50 food products that provide the total estimated calories that an average individual requires.
Since August 2011 the basket has climbed consistently, reflecting continued increases in the cost of living in the country.
The $ 300 mark was passed in November last year and the climb has not stopped. The basic food basket for a family of 3.8 people, which reached $309.43, representing 71% of the average minimum wage in region 1, where are located Panama and San Miguelito, which was set at $ 432.64.
What an average family must spend on food and paying fixed bills (light and water), leaves barely enough money for transport.
The complaint and concern of many Panamanians ios that their income is not keeping pace with the rising cost of goods and services.
The consumer price index (CPI), which reflects the change in cost of products and services such as food, clothing and appliances, has increased 22% during the five years between 2007 and 2011, from 110.4 to 134.70, which u represents a decrease in the purchasing power of Panamanians
is the annual increase in the food basket.is $ 23.77