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ECONOMY | 15-07-2020 18:21

Inflation in June hit 2.2%, reveals INDEC

Consumer prices outpaced expectations to rise by 2.2% last month despite the coronavirus lockdown. In the first six months of 2020 inflation totalled 13.6%, with prices up 42.8% over the last year.

Consumer prices rose by 2.2 percent in June from the previous month, the INDEC national statistics bureau said Wednesday.

Most analysts had anticipated inflation last month hitting two percent.

In the first half of the year, prices have risen 13.6 percent, a lower rate than previous years but as a result a strong fall in economic activity amid the coronavirus pandemic and its accompanying lockdown. In addition, utilities have been temporarily frozen.

Over the past 12 months, prices in Argentina have risen by 42.8 percent.

In 2019, inflation totalled 53.8 percent, according to INDEC, while Argentina registered a 2.1 percent fall in GDP over the same period.

The highest increases last month were registered in clothing and footwear (6.6 percent), followed by recreational activities and culture (4.2 percent), home maintenance (4.1 percent) and alcoholic beverages and tobacco (3.1 percent). The lowest rises were recorded in miscellaneous goods and services (0.3 percent) and education (0.4 percent).

Indicating a continued deceleration, food and non-alcoholic beverages rose by just one percent in June, the second consecutive month of a slower rate after INDEC recorded a 3.2 percent rise in April. 

In February, before the quarantine period was introduced, most banks and economic consultancy firms in the country expected consumer prices to rise by 40 percent this year, with a 1.2 percent drop in GDP. The International Monetary Fund predicts that economic activity will now decline by 9.9 percent as a result of the coronavirus-imposed lockdown. 

– TIMES/AFP

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