Buenos Aires Times

economy ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Inflation in November came in at 3.2%, says INDEC

New data indicates that the rate of inflation is slowing, after sharper increases were witnessed in September and October. 

Friday 14 December, 2018
A woman shops at a supermarket in Buenos Aires.
A woman shops at a supermarket in Buenos Aires. Foto:NA/DANIEL VIDES

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Inflation in November came in at 3.2 percent, the INDEC national statistics bureau reported this week, pushing the annual figure for 2018 so far up to 43.9 percent.

Since the same month in 2017, prices have risen 48.5 percent over 12 months, the bureau added.

Despite the rising figure, the new data indicates that the rate of inflation is slowing, after sharper increases were witnessed in September (6.5 percent) and October (5.4 percent). 

However, some private analysts suggested that the government was anticipating a figure of less than three percent.

November’s price increases were driven by rises in healthcare (5.7 percent) and goods and services (4.4 percent). Food (3.4 percent), transport (2.7 percent), and utilities (2.1 percent) also rose sharply.

Meanwhile, consumption fell by 5.9 percent compared to the same month the previous year, the Scentia consultancy firm reported.

The new data from INDEC indicates just how far the government has missed its original target for price rises, which at the start of the year the Mauricio Macri administration predicted would come in at 15 percent. 

However, the economic crisis earlier this year, subsequent recession and a sharp devaluation of the peso has dramatically hit purchasing power and the price of goods. The turmoil led the government to seek a US$56-billion loan from the International Monetary Fund and to introduce a budget dominated by sharp cuts to public spending.

The inflation data comes hot on the heels of a new series of poverty reports, including one from the influential Catholic University of Argentina’s (UCA) Social Debt Observatory. That institution issued a report earlier in the week that found that 33.6 percent of Argentines are now living below the poverty line.

The data, referring to the third quarter of 2018, brings the figure to its highest level in at least eight years, according to UCA’s data. In the first quarter of the year, official data from INDEC put the figure at 27.3 percent.

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