Inflation Hits 6.6% YoY in Argentina in February, Hitting 100% Year-Over-Year Levels for the First Time Since the 1990s

    The data for the consumer price index (CPI) for the month of February were issued by the National Institute of Statistics and Census of Argentina. These numbers showed an increase of 6.6%, which is mostly the result of increases in the costs of various types of food and beverages. The number is among the highest in Argentina’s history, achieving more than 100% growth year-on-year (YoY), a fact that has disturbed local analysts. The number is among the highest in Argentina’s history.

    The Argentine National Institute of Statistics and Census recently published the inflation data for the month of February, which alarmed analysts based in the country. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the month of February reportedly hit 6.6%, which is a higher level than the 6% that was obtained in January. The majority of the increase may be attributed to the growth in the prices of food and beverages, which increased by 9.8%, putting a strain on the finances of Argentines. Within this industry, the price increase was driven mostly by meats, which in certain instances saw an increase of more than thirty percent.

    The year-over-year percentage increase in prices was 102.5%, which was the greatest level seen in the past more than three decades and brought annual inflation to record levels. Despite the fact that this behavior has never been seen before, analysts are forecasting an even greater acceleration for the month of March. If these predictions come true, the government will not meet its goal of keeping the CPI below 100% until 2023. Local economists have voiced their concerns about the rapid increase in prices across the nation and have called for the economic policies of the government of Alberto Fernandez to be revised. Since October of last year, the government has been attempting to rein in inflation by putting in place mechanisms for controlling prices; nevertheless, these efforts have not been successful in accomplishing the desired result.

    As a result of the surge in prices, some retailers in Argentina are choosing to fix their prices in US dollars in order to avoid constantly having to adjust their prices. This is a practice that is also widespread in Venezuela.

    On March 4, President Alberto Fernandez announced the establishment of a method that will be used throughout Latin America to combat inflation. The new method would incorporate a clearing system, which would make it possible for countries like as Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Colombia, and Mexico to swap goods whose prices have increased for those of other countries.

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