Economic activity in Argentina fell 4.0% in October versus the same month last year, the government said on Thursday, marking the seventh straight month of declines as the country grapples with recession and high inflation.
The US dollar rose 22 cents against the Argentine peso and closed at a 1 US$/ AR$37.50 parity on Thursday. It was the second day in a row for an upward trend following seven straight slumps.
Argentina says that consumer prices rose 6.5% in September bringing the twelve month inflation rate to 40.5%, one of the world's highest. The inflation rate published by the official statistics agency Indec, on Wednesday follows a sharp devaluation of Argentina's currency. The nine month rate reached 32.4%.
Argentina’s central bank said on Thursday it hiked reserve requirements by 3 percentage points for the country’s largest banks, as it tries to keep its plan for reducing short-term debt from adding to already high inflation.
Argentina's President Mauricio Macri is acknowledging for the first time that the country's annual inflation rate will be 30%. Macri said Tuesday that the high consumer prices unfortunately are a product of this storm. He was referring to a sharp devaluation of Argentina's currency and a recent run on the Peso.
Argentina’s central bank raised its benchmark interest rate by 300 basis points to 33.25% percent on Thursday, but the second steep rate increase in less than a week failed to stop the country’s peso currency from swooning to a record low. The local currency tumbled 7.83% to 23 per U.S. dollar. It had hit 21.2 to the greenback on Wednesday, the first trading day due to a holiday after the bank hiked the rate to 30.25% from 27.25% on Friday.
Argentina’s peso currency closed down 3.11% on Wednesday at an all-time low of 21.2 per U.S. dollar, even as the central bank continued selling dollars to try to halt the slide of the local currency, traders said. The currency’s sustained weakening showed a lack of investor confidence in Latin America’s third largest economy, which is blighted by one of the world’s highest inflation rates.
Argentina’s central bank held its benchmark interest rate at 27.25% on Tuesday, reiterating in a statement that high-frequency indicators suggested core inflation would remain high in April, but below March levels.
Argentina’s central bank would raise interest rates if inflation does not fall “a lot” beginning in May to a level consistent with its 2018 target for a 15% rise in consumer prices, central bank Governor Federico Sturzenegger said on Monday.
Argentina's central bank left the basic interest rate unchanged at 27.5%, a clear signal that inflation remains the main challenge of the country's monetary policy. The bank also revealed that last week it intervened in the local market with 400 million dollars to keep the US dollar in the range of 20/20,50 Pesos to the greenback.