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ECONOMY | 08-05-2024 21:36

City monthly inflation rate drops to single digit in boost for government

Inflation in Buenos Aires City was 9.8% in April for an annual rate of 292.5%; Boost for government ahead of next week’s national INDEC figure.

Consumer prices in Buenos Aires City rose 9.8 percent last month for an accumulated annual increase of 292.5 percent, City Hall announced on Wednesday.

The figure is a boost for the national government, which is hoping for a single-digit figure when next week’s national rate is revealed.

Inflation in the first four months of this year so far totals 72.6 percent, City statisticians concluded. 

Three-quarters of the increases last month were explained by the following ítems: Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (22.9 percent), Health (13 percent),  Food and beverages (5.1 percent), Salud, Information and communication (11.7 percent) and Restaurants and hotels (6.1 percent).

Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels registered the steepest increase thanks largely to the soaring public service billing of water and natural gas, while health came next due to increased prepaid health plan charges, despite government intervention. 

Food and beverages were well below average as a whole with dairy products (9.5 percent) and vegetables (10.5 percent) registering the highest increases while meat prices rose 5.9 percent. Within the Restaurant and hotels category, the former rose well above the average of  6.1 percent while hotels increased less.

April’s inflation was driven very much more by services (up by 13.8 percent) than by goods (4.8 percent). The main increases in the latter corresponded to food (chiefly dairy products, meat and vegetables), followed by garments, fuels and medicine. 

The increased cost of services was dominated by the surge in the public service billing of water and natural gas, followed by prepaid medicine, restaurants and apartment expenses.

In the first four months of the year the cumulative increase for goods was 61.8 percent  while services rose 81.8 percent. This pans out into a 305.5 percent declaration for goods and a 283.1 percent acceleration in services when measured in annual terms.

 

REM poll predicts single-digit

The 39 consultants surveyed by the Central Bank have measured an inflation of nine percent for April, dipping to 7.5 percent for May, but they expect deflation to slow down thereafter. Their calculated forecast for this year is 161.3 percent with a core inflation (excluding seasonal and regulated prices) of 145.1 percent.

Their predictions for the next five months are 6.8 percent for June, 6.3 percent for July, six percent for August, 5.8 percent  for September and 5.2 percent for October.

The nationwide inflation figure for April will be announced by the INDEC national statistics bureau next Tuesday with both the Economy Ministry and the economists of the main prívate companies anticipating a return to single digits for the first time since October, 2023 (8.3 percent).

 

– TIMES/NA

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