Argentina’s annual inflation rate now exceeds 50 percent, according to official data, for the first time since February 2020.
Prices rose by 3.2 percent in June, data from the INDEC national statistics bureau released on Thursday showed. Inflation over the last six months has been 25.3 percent – almost reaching the government's 2021 Budget forecast of 29 percent. Over the past 12 months, prices have risen 50.2 percent.
The figures did offer some hope for the government, however. Prices declined slightly on the 3.3 percent rate registered the previous month. That too was a decrease on inflation in March (4.8 percent) and April (4.1 percent).
The highest monthly hikes in June were registered in communications (up seven percent), followed by alcohol and tobacco (up 5.5 percent) and food and non-alcoholic beverages (up 3.2 percent).
Increases in the latter category were led in particular by meat, milk and dairy products, breads and cereals and oils, fats and butters, said INDEC. "These increases were partially offset by declines in fruits, and in vegetables and legumes in most regions," according to the report.
The smallest rises were recorded in education (up 1.1 percent) and miscellaneous goods and services (up two percent).
The economy has been in recession since 2018, though economic activity and production has picked up after the shutdown prompted by the coronavirus pandemic. GDP plummeted 9.9 percent in 2020 and activity is expected to rebound by more than six percent this year, according to most analysts.
Inflation in 2020 reached 36.1 percent. According to the Central Bank’s most recent survey of market expectations, based on projections issued by 42 banks, consultancy firms and research centres, prices will rise by around 48 percent this calendar year.