Consumer prices in Argentina jumped 5.1 percent in May, driven by increases in food, clothing, transport and health, according to official data published Tuesday.
The data means that the cost of living has now risen 29.3 percent since May and by 60.7 percent over the last year, the INDEC national statistics bureau revealed – one of the highest annual rates in the world.
The figure underlines the inability of President Alberto Fernández’s administration to tamp down runaway prices. Officials say the government’s efforts to tackle inflation have been damaged by imbalances in international prices aggravated by the ongoing war in Ukraine.
Nevertheless, the latest update of INDEC’s consumer price index (CPI) was in line with previous forecasts by private analysts and did reflect a slight slowdown in increases, after recording rates of 6.7 percent in March and six percent in April.
In a statement, the Economy Ministry underlined that the country had seen "a deceleration" for the second consecutive month.
May’s hikes were heavily influenced by food and beverage prices, which rose 4.4 percent on average (slowing for the first time in four months) and have risen 64.2 percent over the past year, outpacing general price increases. Meat, bread, cereals and oils – all products that fall under the government’s ‘Precios Cuidados’ price controls scheme – lead the way.
Due to approved increases in prepaid medical fees and medicines, health products hit pockets the hardest, recording a monthly increase of 6.2 percent.
A similar increase was recorded for transport services, which rose 6.1 percent, in large part due to increases in fuel and fares.
As has been the case for several months, clothing prices continue to rise unabated, up 5.8 percent.
The latest overall forecast released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates annual inflation of 51.7 percent this calendar year, although press reports in recent weeks indicate that this projection will be revised in the coming months.
The Central Bank’s most recent survey of market analysts, consultancy firms and economists indicated that experts expect prices to rise by 72.6 percent this year.
In 2021, consumer prices rose by 50.9 percent.