A typical family in Argentina needed to earn almost 100,000 pesos (around US$793 at the official exchange rate) in May not to qualify as living in poverty, according to the INDEC national statistics bureau.
The figure, calculated by INDEC on the basis of its CBT (Canasta Básica Total) shopping-basket, accounts for the food and basic services needed for the subsistence of a family during an entire month.
At the same time the threshold not to fall into destitution was 44,498,60 pesos – the cost of the CBA (Canasta Básica Alimentaria) composed only of the food to satisfy minimum needs for a month.
May’s CBT was 99,676.85 pesos, a year-on-year rise of 54.66 percent – nearly six percent below inflation and 4.6 percent up over April, for a rise of 30.9 percent in the first five months of the year.
By comparison, the CBA has advanced 62.26 percent in the last 12 months, also 4.6 percent up over April and 35 percent so far this year.
The difference between the variations for each shopping-basket stems from the CBA only including food, which accumulated a year-on-year increase of 64 percent. Low-income homes allocate most of their earnings to buying food, which have been hit hardest by soaring prices over the past 12 months.
As for the CBT, the lesser oscillations in the other items compensate in the final result.
INDEC’s figures highlight how the sharp increases in food prices hit low-income households hard. The most worrying figure is that this dynamic of price increases has been maintained in the first half of June, with the neediest suffering the most.
Although the Economy Ministry highlights that inflation has been falling since March, recent fuel increases will have a direct impact on the prices of essential products, further complicating the situation.
In the light of this situation a leap in the poverty figure over the 37.3 percent registered at the end of 2021 is expected for the first half of this year.