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ECONOMY | 14-10-2022 18:51

Inflation in September hit 6.2%, prices up 83% over past year

No respite from runaway price hikes: inflation in September reached 6.2%, with cost of living over the last 12 months up 83%. Private economists forecast an annual 2022 rate of more than 100%.

Inflation in Argentina reached 6.2 percent last month, according to official data, with price hikes over the last 12 months totalling 83 percent. Since the turn of the year, prices have increased by 66.1 percent – one of the worst figures in the world.

The data, presented by the INDEC national statistics bureau on Friday, revealed a monthly figure for September of 6.2 percent, less than forecast by many private economists and a slight slowdown on the preceding months of August (up seven percent) and July (7.4 percent). Nevertheless, it was higher than the rates recorded in June (5.3 percent), May (5.1 percent) and April (six percent).

Year-on-year measurement, spanning from October 2021 to September 2022, now shows an annualised rate of 83 percent – the highest level in 31 years. 

The highest increases in September were seen in the clothing and footwear sector (up 10.6 percent), followed by alcoholic beverages and tobacco (up 9.4 percent). The household staff, equipment and maintenance sector rose six percent, following a wage increase for domestic workers. Food and non-alcoholic beverages recorded a rise of 6.7 percent, while government-approved hikes in bus and train fares and fuel prices saw the transport sector record a 5.8-percent jump. By way of contrast, communications rose by just 2.5 percent.

In terms of a regional breakdown, the Greater Buenos Aires area recorded the lowest inflation rate in September with six percent, while the northeast of the country saw the biggest hikes averaging 6.8 percent.

Argentina’s never-ending struggles with inflation have had a big impact on the country’s social situation. Poverty in the first half of the year affected 36.5 percent of the population, according to official data.

Analysts project this year's inflation rate will surpass 90 percent, though in the most recent Central Bank survey of market expectations experts returned an annual forecast of 100.3 percent for this calendar year, a rise of five points on the previous month.

In its draft 2023 budget bill, the government has forecast a rate of 60 percent. Price increases last year reached 50.9 percent.

Argentina signed a US$44.5-billion extended fund facilities deal with the International Monetary Fund earlier this year, in which it committed to decrease its fiscal deficit from three percent in 2021 to 0.9 percent in 2024.


 

– TIMES/AFP/PERFIL

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