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ECONOMY | 15-11-2022 17:06

Prices in Argentina have risen by 88% over last 12 months, reveals INDEC

Inflation was 6.3% in October, according to national statistics bureau; Price hikes stand at 76.6% since the turn of the year, with 2022 likely to end with a rate in triple digits.

Inflation in October reached 6.3 percent and prices in Argentina have risen by 88 percent over the last 12 months, the INDEC national statistics bureau announced on Tuesday.

The data means that the cost of living has increased 76.6 percent since the turn of the year, with the country’s annual 2022 inflation rate now very likely to enter into the triple digits. 

At 88 percent over the last 12 months, inflation is now at its highest since November, 1991, a C&T Consultores survey found.

According to the most recent Central Bank survey of market analysts and economists, Argentina will close out the year with an inflation rate surpassing 100 percent, with price increases of 96 percent to follow in 2023. The same poll projected an October inflation rate of 6.5 percent, meaning the official figure slightly undershot expectations.

Argentina continues to struggle with runaway price hikes, which are eating away at the purchasing-power of citizens. 

In October, communications rose a whopping 12.1 percent according to INDEC, mainly due to previously delayed increases in telephone and Internet services.

The second largest hikes were recorded in housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (7.5 percent), also led by government-approved hikes in electricity and gas services.

Domestic appliances and maintenance (up 4.9 percent), healthcare (up 7.1 percent) and transport (4.5 percent) also pushed the cost of living to soar last month.

One of the government’s primary focuses, food and non-alcoholic beverages, saw large seasonal increases in all regions of the country, notably in fruits. The foodstuffs rising the most was potatoes and sweet potatoes, at 57 percent and 48 percent respectively. 

The prices of alcoholic beverages and tobacco rose by 5.4 percent in October compared to the previous month.

Price hikes in Buenos Aires City for October were seven percent, with Greater Buenos Aires and Patagonia registering increases of 6.6 percent.

The cost of living in Argentina is once again out of control, despite the implementation of multiple price control schemes with large companies over the last three years of President Alberto Fernández's administration.

Just last Friday, the government confirmed the introduction of the so-called ‘Precios Justos’ plan covering more than 1,700 staple food, personal hygiene and cleaning products.

"There is a commitment by supermarket chains and wholesalers to refuse [supplies] to companies that violate the agreement on price lists," Economy Minister Sergio Massa said last week.

Massa has pushed for new limits on money printing, interest rate hikes and cuts in utility subsidies in a bid to close out the year with a 2.5 percent fiscal deficit, as agreed with the International Monetary Fund under the terms of Argentina's US$44.5-billion debt restructuring deal agreed last March.

Persistent price rises are having an impact on poverty, which rose to affect 36.5 percent of the population in the first half of the year.

In 2021, inflation totalled 50.9 percent.

 

– TIMES/AFP/NA

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