In August, inflation in Argentina jumped to 4 percent from 2.2 percent that was registered in July. In the first eight months of the year, Argentina accumulated a price increase of 30 percent, as reported this Thursday by the national statistics institute (Indec).
The figures are in line with what was anticipated by the public and the private sector. According to the latest Market Expectations Survey (REM), scholars and consultancies forcasted that it would be close to 4.3% per month, while President Mauricio Macri, during a seminar of Coninagro last August 27, had stated that it would be about "three pint something".
This time, core inflation - which does not include regulated or seasonal prices and represents 70% of the economy's prices - stood at 4.6% and showed the underlying trend of prices. The difference makes sense since the government froze tariffs and fuels after the jump of the dollar following the primary elections. This is the reason why regulated prices rose only 2.1 percent and seasonal prices rose 3.9 percent.
The government also held down the prices of the basic food basket with a VAT cut. However, food prices rose 4.5 percent this August and reached 58.8 percent year-on-year inflation. In the first eight months of the year, they rose 33.3 percent.
The highest rise was recorded in the Household equipment section, with a jump of 6.1 percent. In second place was the Health section, which climbed 5.2 percent in one month. The most modest increase was observed in Communication (1.2 percent), where the government also prevented companies from increasing the prices of data messaging after the dollar jump.
The geographical impact of inflation, as usual, was uneven. The Northeast (4.5 percent), Cuyo (4.4 percent), Patagonia (4.2 percent) and Northwest (4.1 percent) regions were above the national average, while only Greater Buenos Aires and the Pampean region were below with 3.9 percent.
In the last twelve months, prices rose 54.5 percent, with the core food basket soaring to 57.1 percent year-on-year. So far, the highest inflationary mark since the exit of convertibility was recorded in May of this year, when it reached 56.8 percent year-on-year.
An even higher rate is expected for September, around 5.8 percent according to private analysts and "a little lower" according to HernÃ¡n Lacunza's team. It is important to remember that before the dollar jump, prices were evolving at a rate of 2.3 percent per month.
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