Food prices lead the way as Argentina faces sky-high inflation

The staggering levels of inflation in Argentina are being led by rising food prices.

Official figures from the government statistics agency, the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses, revealed that annual inflation reached 102.5% in February, meaning that the price of many consumer goods has more than doubled since February 2022.

It is the first time it has passed 100% since the days of hyperinflation in the early 1990s.

February is the 13th consecutive month that Argentina has reported a monthly inflation rate above 4%, a figure generally considered the threshold for healthy economies.

The country’s consumer price index rose 6.6% in January-February and 13.1% in the first two months of the year combined, according to the figures.

The food and non-alcoholic beverages sector experienced the most dramatic recent increase, with prices growing 9.8% in February compared to January. Argentine media said that this increase could be partly due to a sharp rise in the price of meat, which rose almost 20% in the space of a month. Factors influencing this trek include a prolonged heat wave and a drought that affected livestock and crops.

The price of buttock, shoulder, rump and minced meat rose more than 30% in the Greater Buenos Aires region, according to a report, despite the country’s economy ministry introducing a price control program aimed at to lower the price of popular cuts of meat.

The media have partly blamed political infighting and instability for the country’s economic woes.

British broadcaster The BBC He pointed out that last summer, three economy ministers succeeded each other in the span of four weeks, while President Alberto Fernández would be at odds with his vice president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, on how to address Argentina’s economic problems.

In December, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved another US$6bn bailout for Argentina, the latest payment in a series that could total US$44bn.

The country’s government has previously tried to stem price rises by limiting the prices of food and other products.

In November, in an agreement called fair prices or ‘fair prices’, ordered manufacturers and retailers to temporarily freeze the price of 1,700 products, including food, beverages and personal hygiene products.

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James D. Brown
James D. Brown
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