Argentina’s Economy minister Amado Boudou announced Tuesday that the President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's administration is to request aid from the International Monetary Fund to help with a new price index.
We will ask for technical assistance in order to draw up a new consumer price index, the Minister stated. The index will aim at monitoring the evolution of the domestic cost of living at a national level.
Boudou's acknowledgment and request come within the framework of the controversy surrounding Argentina’s INDEC national statistics bureau measurements and the rumours involving the Paris Club creditors’ intervention on the debt-restructuring process.
IMF's participation in the outlining of a new consumer price index was allegedly negotiated in Washington last week, during a meeting attended by Foreign Affairs Minister Héctor Timerman and Finance Minister Amado Boudou.
Business organizations, the opposition and foreign investors holding sovereign bonds tied to the evolution of prices have bitterly complained about the manipulation of Indec indices. The controversy dates back to former President Nestor Kirchner’s administration when he removed most of the professionals from until that episode respected institution and replaced them with political cronies.
Although Indec official inflation is in the range of 11%, most private economic and financial analysts, including the group of professionals sacked from the statistics office, estimate the figure closer to 25% and increasing.
Labour contracts between unionized workers and businesses are taking as reference 25%, in spite of the fact that the all powerful Argentine Confederation of Workers, CGT, is fully supportive of the Kirchner administration.
“A little inflation is not bad after all”, the CGT leader and teamsters’ boss Hugo Moyano was quoted when asked about the ongoing controversy.