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ECONOMY | 04-04-2023 08:42

Argentina March inflation seen hitting 7%, challenging Sergio Massa

Argentina’s monthly inflation likely sprinted in March to its fastest pace in at least seven months – another setback for Economy Minister Sergio Massa as elections draw nearer.

Argentina’s monthly inflation likely sprinted in March to its fastest pace in at least seven months, posing another setback for Economy Minister Sergio Massa ahead of elections in October.

Consumer prices are forecast to have jumped seven percent from the previous month, the fastest pace since Massa took office in August, according to the median estimate of five private economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

While inflation often accelerates in March due to seasonal factors, the worsening outlook indicates that Argentina’s currency controls, multiple exchange rates and price freezes on thousands of items are proving ineffective.

Annual inflation climbing further above 100 percent is challenging the political future of Massa, seen by many as a presidential hopeful from the ruling Frente de Todos coalition. No Peronist candidates have come forward yet and President Alberto Fernández told reporters last week he still hasn’t decided if he’ll run for re-election.

Price rises remain elevated across the board. While education and clothing led increases due to seasonal factors, food costs, the heaviest weighted category in Argentina’s price index, are projected to have jumped 6.7 percent in March, according to Santiago Manoukian, head of research at consulting firm EcoLatina.

March estimates:

Inflation estimates for March
Economist Company Monthly inflation forecast Annual inflation forecast
Eugenio Mari Fundacion Libertad y Progreso 7.3% N/A
Santiago Manoukian EcoLatina 7.2% N/A
Martín Rapetti Equilibra 7% 102.9%
María Castiglioni C&T Asesores 7% N/A
Guido Lorenzo LCG Consultores 6.7% N/A

 

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by Patrick Gillespie, Bloomberg

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