Although Argentine official inflation statistics are considered non reliable and there's no national consumers price index, some provinces, --outside the realm of the President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner administration--, have kept local statistics branches operational and their numbers are considered a valid reference.
That is the case of the province of San Luis which recently released the CPI for April, equivalent to 3%, which is over three times the Kirchner administration April rate of 0.8%. However in the first four months of 2008, inflation has ballooned to 11.8% San Luis province elaborates two CPI, one a national estimate, (with data from several areas of the country such as metropolitan Buenos Aires, La Pampa, Rio Negro, San Luis, Tierra del Fuego and Salta) and a second specifically for San Luis province. The so called inter-provincial index marked an inflation of 3.1% in April but 10.5% so far this year. "Given the decision from Indec (Institute of statistics and census) to discontinue the publication of a national CPI, this office beginning this month will elaborate a CPI for San Luis" as reference in the context of prices variations for the whole country, said the San Luis Statistics office in a release. "Our only purpose is to provide truthful, precise and timely data" for a more accurate decision making. Last April the Indec office in Buenos Aires announced it would no longer publish a national CPI, valid for the whole of Argentina, and thus formally closed the institute's offices in all provinces. The decision according to the Argentine media quoting local economists was forced because of the "inconsistencies and clumsy manipulations" of the official CPI for metropolitan Buenos Aires, which the Kirchners administration consider the only valid. This "official" CPI index has always been under two digits on an annual basis while the private sector, --including the labour contracts of those trade unions faithful to the Kirchners--, has worked on inflation expectations in the range of 22 to 25% in 2007, and picking up speed for the next twelve months.