Consumer prices increased 2.4 percent in February in Argentina, the INDEC national statistics bureau reported on Thursday, casting further doubt over the national government’s ability to limit inflation for the year to its 15-percent target.
Inflation was driven for the most part by the increase in tariffs for public services, transportation and food.
The figure was a rise on on January, when prices rose 1.8 percent. In total, prices have risen 4.2 percent in the first two months of the year, more than in the same period of 2017, when an increase of 3.8 percent was registered. Last December inflation was 3.1 percent.
The cost of living last month skyrocketed compared to January, with increases in food and beverages (+ 2.2 percent), housing and basic services (+ 3.8 percent) and transportation (+ 4.5 percent) leading the way.
President Mauricio Macri’s government has estimated that inflation in 2018 will total 15 percent, although private consultancy firms estimate the figure will exceed 20 percent.
Cabinet Chief Marcos Peña, speaking on Wednesday, insisted that Argentina was winning its battle to lower inflation, which has been one of Macri’s key objectives since taking office in December 2015.
"Last year inflation was lower than in 2016 [41 percent] and this year will be lower than in 2017 [24.8 percent],” said Peña.