Consumer prices rose 1.9% in Argentina in September, government statistics agency Indec said on Thursday, pushing the nine-month inflation reading to 17.6%, above the upper band of the central bank’s target for the year.
The central bank, which has tightened monetary policy, is aiming for inflation between 12% and 17% in 2017, while economists forecast it to be at 22%.
In greater Buenos Aires, used as a proxy before the national index was launched in July, prices rose 2% in September and 24.2% in the 12 months through September. That marked the highest monthly reading for greater Buenos Aires since April.
While Argentina’s economic growth has accelerated in recent months, providing a boost for President Mauricio Macri’s market-friendly coalition ahead of legislative elections on Oct. 22, taming inflation has proven more difficult than initially hoped.
The central bank, which kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 26.25% on Tuesday, hopes to end the year with monthly inflation around 1%. That would put it on track to meet its 8%-to-12% target next year.
Economists, however, forecast inflation in 2018 to be 15.8%. In holding the line on interest rates this week, the central bank said it expected inflation to slow in October after rising in September.
The surge in consumer prices last month was driven by a 4% increase in seasonal goods. Core inflation increased by 1.6%, more in line with previous months, while regulated prices increased by 1.7%.