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ECONOMY | 10-08-2022 23:09

Analysts estimate inflation could surpass 90% this year in Argentina

Annual inflation moves ever closer to three digits amid widespread changes at Argentina’s Economy Ministry.

Analysts estimate this year’s inflation at 90.2 percent, according to the Central Bank’s July survey of market expectations (REM in its Spanish acronym), a surge of 14.2 percentage points from the previous forecast.

Last month there were major price mark-ups triggered by a run on the currency following the surprise resignation of Martín Guzmán as economy minister and his replacement by Silvina Batakis, who lasted just 24 days on the job before Sergio Massa was named in her place, taking office on August 3.

Massa has promised that he would combat inflation as one of his priorities, defining it as “the biggest factory of poverty,” a scourge which afflicts 37 percent of the country’s 47 million inhabitants.

In the Central Bank survey, the analysts project next year’s inflation at 76.6 percent, 12 percentage points above their June estimate, and at 60 percent for 2024, 9.8 points more than the previous month.

According to the INDEC national statistics bureau, the cost of living accumulated 36.2 percent in the first half of this year, one of the highest in the world. Last year consumer prices rose 50.9 percent.

Since Massa took office, the gap between the official and parallel exchange rates has shrunk since the latter more than doubled the former in the previous weeks. The Bolsa stock exchange also rose 2.90 percent in the new minister’s first week.

In his first announcements as head of the portfolio, Massa promised to halt the printing of money, to reduce public service subsidies and to comply with the objective of a fiscal deficit of 2.5 percent of gross domestic product this year, as agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

 

– TIMES/AFP

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