Skip to main content

High inflation, added to seasonal factors, limits access to food

  • Key Message Update
  • El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua
  • March 2022
High inflation, added to seasonal factors, limits access to food

Download the Report

  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Throughout the region, high inflation is adding to seasonal factors and reducing availability and access to food with the start of the annual lean season. Given this, is it likely for households to experience reduced purchasing power, as they depend more and more on market purchases. In addition, agricultural losses in 2021 also caused an early start to the lean season. Nonetheless, poor households are expected to remain mainly in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) throughout the lean season, while areas of concern in the Dry Corridor and eastern Honduras will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) until September 2022.

    • In February, headline inflation continued its upward trend. The interannual variation of the Consumer Price Index was 6.7 percent in El Salvador, 6.4 percent in Honduras, and 7.7 percent in Nicaragua. These increases are strongly related to international trends in fuel prices. As a consequence, food prices in February also reported strong variations in the three countries. In the case of staple grains, wholesales prices of white maize reported increases in February compared to the month before in El Salvador and Nicaragua, while they remained stable in Honduras. In the case of red beans, wholesale prices reported variations between 5.1 and 10.8 percent in February compared to the previous month, with El Salvador reporting the largest price increases.

    • In March, the governments of El Salvador and, to a lesser extent, Honduras, announced economic measures to contain the effects of inflation on poor households’ purchasing power and access to food, considering international trends related to the conflict in Ukraine. These measures include subsidies for electricity, propane gas, and fuel; the freezing of prices for passenger fees and electricity; and the establishment of maximum prices for certain products.  

    • The forecast for the next three months indicates above-average rainfall for most of the region, which should support an improvement in soil moisture in areas that have reported a rainfall deficit, facilitating a normal start to the primera season. However, high fertilizer prices – with year-on-year variations in February 2022 of up to 188.9 percent, for urea for example – will impact the cropped area for this cycle, as well as in the final consumer price of the harvest.

    This Key Message Update provides a high-level analysis of current acute food insecurity conditions and any changes to FEWS NET's latest projection of acute food insecurity outcomes in the specified geography. Learn more here.

    Get the latest food security updates in your inbox Sign up for emails

    The information provided on this Website is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government.

    Jump back to top