Inflation stays at 0.31% in April, pressed by adjustment in medicines

Section: Economic Statistics | Umberlândia Cabral

May 11, 2021 09h00 AM | Last Updated: May 12, 2021 12h59 PM

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The rise in the price of pharmaceuticals impacted the index registered in April - Photo: Helena Pontes/IBGE News Agency

Pressed by the rise in the prices of pharmaceuticals, the inflation stayed at 0.31% in April, below that registered in March (0.93%). As a result, the index accrues a rise of 2.37% in the year and of 6.76% in the last 12 months. The change had been -0.31% in April 2020. The data are from the Extended National Consumer Price Index - IPCA, released today (11) by the IBGE.

The rise was of 1.19% in the group of health and personal care. The major influence on this result was the increase in the prices of pharmaceuticals (2.69%), which was also the major impact on the overall index (0.09 p.p.). "On April 1st, and adjustment of up to 10.08% was made in the price of medicines, depending on the therapeutic class. This adjustment is usually made in April, so it was expected," says Pedro Kislanov, manager of the survey.

The highest change in the pharmaceuticals came from anti-infective and antibiotic medicines (5.20%). In addition, personal hygiene products (0.99%), like perfumes (3.67%), make-up products (3.07%), toilet paper (2.90%) and hair products (1.21%) also rose.


Having changed -0.08%, the group of transportation was another highlight in the April´s index, mainly influenced by the drop in the prices of fuels. After 10 consecutive months of rises, gasoline retreated 0.44% in April. Nevertheless, the most intense drop in this group came from ethanol (-4.93%). "Gasoline was continuously adjusted between February and March. In the end of March, the price of this product was reduced twice in the refineries. It eventually reaches the final consumers," states the researcher.

He explains that the scenario is similar when it comes to ethanol. "Ethanol ends up following gasoline because it is a replacement. When the price of gasoline rises, people change to ethanol and its price ends up rising as well." Still in transportation, new cars (1.01%) and used cars (0.57%) rose. And the prices of airfare (6.41%) rose for the first time in the year.

The increase in the price of food like meat (1.01%), long-life milk (2.40%), chicken pieces (1.95%) and tomatoes (5.46%) caused food at home (0.47%) to be more expensive than in the previous month. It explains the rise of 0.40% in the group of food and beverages.

"We had a rise in the second semester last year, then a deceleration since the beginning of the year and now an acceleration from 0.13% to 0.40%, due to the increase in the prices of that food," explains Kislanov.

According to the researcher, meat, which accrued a rise of 35.05% in the last 12 months, had its price increased in April, mainly due to the cost inflation caused by animal food. "We are living a moment in which the price of the commodities are strongly rising. Mainly soybeans and corn are impacting the costs of the producers and it ends up influencing the final price of the product in the market," states the manager of the survey.

Among the food that dropped their prices, fruits (-5.21%) were the major highlight. After rising 0.89% in the previous month, food away from home decelerated (0.23%). The lower index is especially explained by the change of -0.04% in snacks, an item that had risen 1.88% in March. 

The less intense increase in the group of housing (0.22%) over the previous month (0.81%) was impacted by the deceleration in the prices of bottled gas (1.15%), which had risen 4.98% in March, as well as by the retreat of 0.04% in electricity. The yellow tariff flag, which adds R$1.343 to the fare at each 100 kilowatt-hour consumed, was maintained in April. Metropolitan areas like Rio de Janeiro (3.63%) and Fortaleza (3.32%) suffered with the rise of this item, while others like São Paulo (-1.22%) and Porto Alegre (-1.38%) recorded a reduction due to the decrease in PIS/COFINS.

All the 16 areas surveyed posted an inflation. The biggest change came from Rio Branco (0.96%), especially influenced by the rise in pharmaceuticals (4.50%). The lowest index was reported in Brasília (0.05%), mainly due to the drop in the price of gasoline (-1.47%).

With the cumulative index at 6.76% in the last 12 months, the IPCA is above the ceiling of the government target, which is 5.25%. "There is also the effect of two deflations last year, in April and May. When we look at the 12 months, we are replacing a deflation in 2020 for a positive change now," explains Kislanov.

INPC changes 0.38% in April

The National Consumer Price Index - INPC rose 0.38% in April, below the March´s rate, when it had registered 0.86%. The indicator accrues a rise of 2.35% in the year and of 7.59% in 12 months. In April 2020, the rate had been -0.23%.

Food products increased 0.49% in April, whereas they had recorded 0.07% in the previous month. After increasing 1.11% in March, non-food products changed 0.35%.

All the areas surveyed posted an inflation in April, highlighted by Rio Branco (1.06%), where the rises of gasoline (1.95%) and of pharmaceuticals (4.66%) caused the index to increase. The lowest index was reported in Brasília (0.11%), influenced by the drop in the prices of gasoline (-1.47%) and of fruits (-7.10%).

More about the survey

The National System of Consumer Price Indexes - SNIPC produces the IPCA, which aims at measuring the inflation of a whole set of products and services traded in the retail, related to consumption of the households.

Today, the target population for the IPCA encompasses households with income between 1 and 40 minimum wages, whereas the INPC encompasses households with income between 1 and 5 minimum wages, living in the urban areas of the regions within the scope of the SNIPC: metropolitan areas of Belém, Fortaleza, Recife, Salvador, Belo Horizonte, Vitória, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Curitiba, Porto Alegre, as well as the Federal District and the municipalities of Goiânia, Campo Grande, Rio Branco, São Luís and Aracaju. Please access the data at Sidra.