Argentina’s annual inflation surged last month as the government implements price freezes on over a thousand consumer goods in attempt to cool cost-of-living increases.
Consumer prices rose 88 percent in October from a year ago, surpassing Turkey’s 85.5 percent rate for the highest among Group of 20 nations, according to Argentine government data published Tuesday. Inflation accelerated 6.3 percent on a monthly basis, less than the 6.7 percent median estimate from economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
Argentina’s annual inflation rate is expected to surpass 100 percent in coming months, the highest level since South America’s second-largest economy battled hyperinflation over 3,000 percent in the early 1990s. President Alberto Fernández relaunched temporary price freezes on 1,700 consumer items last week in a bid to cool prices, though the policy hasn’t proved sustainable before.
A key official in Fernández’s government conceded on Tuesday that the coalition isn’t unified over a big-picture plan to cool inflation and grow the economy.
“There’s no consensus over a stabilisation plan,” Economic Planning Secretary Gabriel Rubinstein said in a conference. Ahead of next year’s presidential election, he added that “there isn’t political consciousness on lowering spending.”
Galloping inflation affects everyone in Argentina. Powerful labour unions are pushing companies for triple-digit pay increases, foreign tourists are paying restaurants bills with huge stacks of cash and consumers don’t know how much basic items should cost.
by Patrick Gillespie, Bloomberg