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Argentina records yearly inflation of 49.3 percent, highest since 1991

View of a sale-sign in a store at the Florida street, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 14 February 2019. Inter-annual inflation in Argentina rose 49,3 percent, according to the Statistics and Census National Institute, a figure not seen since the 1991. EPA-EFE/Maria Paulina Rodriguez

View of a sale-sign in a store at the Florida street, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 14 February 2019. Inter-annual inflation in Argentina rose 49,3 percent, according to the Statistics and Census National Institute, a figure not seen since the 1991. EPA-EFE/Maria Paulina Rodriguez

EFE

Inflation in Argentina rose to 49.3 percent year-on-year in January, according to data released Thursday by the National Institute of Statistics and Census (INDEC), a figure that even surpasses the 2018 figure of 47.6 percent, setting a new record since 1991.

In the first month of the year, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 2.9 percent a month, an acceleration compared to the 2.6 percent recorded in December, but far from last September’s peak, when inflation hit 6.5 percent after the strong devaluation of the Argentine currency which triggered a rise in prices.

In the cumulative year-on-year, the rise for goods was 52 percent, and 44.8 percent for services, while in the monthly comparison goods rose by 2.6 percent and services by 3.5 percent.

Seasonal product prices rose by 33.2 percent year-on-year, core inflation (excluding more volatile prices such as fuel) by 49.9 percent and regulated prices (such as electricity or transport) by 55.4 percent.

Compared to December, seasonal products became 1.1 percent more expensive in January, core inflation was 3 percent and regulated prices rose 3.4 percent.

By sector, the largest year-on-year price increases were for transport (67.3 percent), communication (63.7 percent), other goods and services (55.1 percent), food and non-alcoholic beverages (53 percent), household equipment and maintenance (52.5 percent), health (51.9 percent), housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (48.7 percent) and recreation and culture (43.5 percent).

For restaurants and hotels the CPI rose by 40.1 percent, for clothing and footwear by 33.3 percent, for education by 32.1 percent and for alcoholic beverages and tobacco by 29,7 percent.

By geographical areas, Cuyo, in the west of the country, registered an inflation of 51.6 percent, Patagonia, in the south, 51.3 percent, in the northeast, 49.9 percent, in the northwest, 49.7 percent, in the Pampas region, 49.1 percent and in Buenos Aires and its metropolitan area, 48.9 percent.

On Thursday morning, the Argentine government announced that it expects inflation of around 28 percent for this year, a figure projected by private consulting firms, which the Central Bank then releases every month.

The Secretary of Economic Policy, Miguel Braun, said that the government expects that in the coming months the rise of prices will remain “between two and three points” and will begin to fall in the second half of the year.


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