Thursday, April 18, 2024

ECONOMY | 14-02-2024 22:33

Celebrations, misgivings as politicians react to inflation data

Government allies cheer latest INDEC data showing that consumer price hikes slowed to around 20% last month, while Peronist critics warn of spiralling consumer prices.

Party political lines mostly defined the response of Argentina’s politicians to the INDEC national statistics bureau’s publication of January inflation data, with reactions ranging from celebrations to warnings.

Lawmakers and leaders across the board rushed to social media to react after government data showed that consumer prices rose by 20.6 percent in the first month of 2024.– a slowing of almost five points from the preceding period.

Libertarian Ramiro Marra celebrated the figure, while ex-minister Victoria Tolosa Paz warned that President Javier Milei could see more than 100 percent inflation in his first three months in office. 

Prices have increased by 254.2 percent over the past year, according to INDEC’s data. Milei took office last December.

“The January inflation of 20.6 percent is still high, we know that and we’re not going to deny it. Nevertheless, we celebrate the deceleration and downward trend which are being achieved,” Marra wrote on X (formerly Twitter), offering his congratulations to President Milei and Economy Minister Luis Caputo for “avoiding hyperinflation."

Another voice close to the government saluting the slowdown was libertarian deputy José Luis Espert. 

He wrote on X: “20.6% INFLATION IN JANUARY. Almost five points less than the previous month. Bit by bit the government of @JMilei is leaving behind the hyperinflation left by Kirchnerism. It is still felt in the pockets but we are on the right path.”

But there were other outlooks. With a more subdued tone than Kirchnerism, Unión Cívica Radical deputy Martín Tetaz warned: “January inflation averaged 20.2 percent, accumulating 50 percent in the last two months. A government recently taking over cannot, of course, be held responsible for this disaster but a stabilisation plan to knock down inflation is urgent.”

“It is not enough to stop printing money because if people continue increasing prices, the means of payment will not suffice for the economy and the recession will deepen until the prices eventually yield,” added Tetaz.

“The first step of a successful plan against inflation is a budget which reflects and transmits the plan of the government. In that bill the President should send to Congress all the adjustments he wishes to make, such as, for example, the reduction or elimination of the trust funds,” he concluded.

Predictably, President Milei’s political rivals were quick to condemn the figure.  Unión por la Patria deputy Victoria Tolosa Paz (Social Development minister until last December) published on X: “100 percent inflation in three months!” she claimed.

“They promised that the people would not pay for the austerity and for now the only news you read is everything going up without a single measure to compensate for this brutal austerity,” she denounced.



related news


More in (in spanish)