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ECONOMY | 14-10-2020 18:22

INDEC: Inflation 2.8% in September, 22.3% this year so far

Consumer prices rose 2.8% in September, with the biggest increases in clothing and footwear and alcoholic beverages and tobacco.

Retail prices in Argentina rose by 2.8 percent in September compared to the previous month, the INDEC national statistics bureau reported on Wednesday.

The figure means that inflation has totalled 22.3 percent since the turn of the year and that prices have risen by 33.6 percent year-on-year. In August, prices rose 2.7 percent.

Most private consultancy firms had anticipated a figure of around three percent for September.

INDEC said the highest increases last month were recorded in clothing and footwear (up 5.8 percent) followed by alcoholic beverages and tobacco (up 4.3 percent).

Despite government-ordered price controls on basic products, the cost of food and beverages increased by three percent, the same figure recorded as in the previous month.

The lowest increases were observed in education (up 0.3 percent) and communications (0.1 percent) divisions, in the former due to the near-total shutdown of schools and universities during the pandemic lockdown and in the latter due to a government freeze in the prices of telephone and Internet services.

Inflation, an endemic problem in Argentina, has been for the large part contained since March amid a slowdown in economic activity due to restrictions imposed by President Alberto Fernández to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. Prices are expected to increase by 36.9 percent this year, according to the most recent Central Bank survey of private economists.

In 2019, the last year of the Mauricio Macri administration’s single term in office, inflation totalled 53.8 percent.

The Fernández government forecast a rate of 29 percent in 2021, in its recent Budget bill.

– TIMES/AFP/PERFIL

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