What contributed the most to inflation in 2022 being 13.12 percent -the highest in 23 years- were food prices (4.88 percentage points) that increased 27.81 percent, according to the director of Dane, Piedad Urdinola.

«Without a doubt, the trend we are seeing right now corresponds to what has happened since we started the pandemic and quarantines«said the official.

(Also read: These are the most expensive cities to live in Colombia; is yours?)

The product that most boosted this annual food data was the cost of beef. Between 2017 and 2020, prices were stable, but with the arrival of covid-19 an upward trend began that ended approximately a year ago. Although it has been declining, inflation is still at 20.21 percent, a level not seen since 2016.

Then there is the rice, which began to increase from the end of 2021 and is still increasing. At the end of last year it had become more expensive by 54.05 percent. «The only thing it has done is grow and this trend does not seem to be reversed,» said Urdinola.

The only thing it has done is grow and this trend does not seem to be reversed

Also noteworthy are the increases registered by products such as arracacha Y Name (109.84 percent), onion (106.81 percent), yucca (88.08 percent), banana (64.12 percent) and coffee (52.69 percent).

In addition to the dried vegetables (47.81 percent), sugar (43.12 percent), wheat (35.9 percent), milk (36.65 percent), eggs (33.68 percent), potato (33.77 percent) and the frying pan (30.36 percent).

These higher food costs also made the food consumed by Colombians in restaurants more expensive. Again, the pronounced increase began with the arrival of covid-19 and reached levels of 18.70 percent in 2022.

Due to the pandemic, the prices of cleaning and maintenance products have also increased to 37.89 percent at the end of 2022, basically due to the higher costs in soaps and detergents.

Likewise, the purchase of vehicles has been affected since 2019, but since mid-2021 a stronger rise began and its inflation stood at 20.94 percent last year. «The purchase of new vehicles in the country is highly influenced by the Market Representative Rate (TRM), which has a relationship with what is happening with prices because many of them are imported,» said the director of Dane.

(Also read: Inflation in Colombia reached a maximum of 13.12% in 2022)

Energy prices keep falling

Regarding public services, electricity has been lowering its costs since the last quarter of 2022 as a result of the measures taken by the National Government to alleviate the pocket of Colombians who have been paying high prices since the beginning of that year. Annual inflation closed at 22.40 percent when last October it reached 28.53 percent.

Electricity inflation is much higher in the departments of the Caribbean region, according to the director of Dane, due to the way in which rates are being strengthened for this area and increased consumption due to the use of air conditioners.

Therefore, above the national average are Sincelejo (37.19 percent), Montería (37 percent), Valledupar (36.84 percent), Cartagena (35.88 percent), Riohacha (33.92 percent), percent), Barranquilla (32.08 percent) and Santa Marta (26.98 percent).

Outside the Caribbean area, Bucaramanga (26.91 percent) and Medellín (23.97 percent) also appear. While Villavicencio (7.33 percent), Manizales (9.01 percent) and Florencia (9.37 percent) were the cities that reported the lowest costs in electricity.