Inflation in the first quarter closed at 6.7 percent, after INDEC statistics bureau announced a March figure of 2.3 percent on Thursday, thus leaving the government’s 2018 target of 15 percent looking like a very long shot.
Perhaps the worst aspect of Thursday’s announcement was that core inflation – which weeds out regulated and seasonal prices – was even worse at 2.6 percent (6.3 percent for the quarter), the highest total ever. As often occurs in March, education (13.8 percent) was the biggest culprit. Labour Minister Jorge Triaca also spoke of wage-push inflation while peso devaluation was blamed for the quarter as a whole.
This month’s inflation is forecast to be even higher with gas bill increases averaging 32 percent.