Following on the steps of the IMF (and World Bank) which has strongly questioned Argentine official stats (mainly inflation and GDP growth), the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Eclac, also joined the club of disbelievers since in its last report on the regional economy appealed to other stats’ sources.
In Argentina points out the Eclac 2013 report “estimates from provincial government stats offices are indicative of an elevated inflation.
The average monthly inflation rate reported by the provinces where there is a monthly monitoring index of consumer prices (Neuquen, San Luis, Santa Fe and Tierra del Fuego) was 20.5% in the last twelve months to April 2013”.
The statement comes as a surprise because until now the Eclac office under Alicia Bárcena, had used as reference the much questioned inflation indexes from the Argentine government stats office, Indec. The poor reliability of Indec stats has led to repeated clashes of the IMF with the government of president Cristina Fernandez.
The Eclac report also underlines that Argentina and Venezuela are “the two countries of the region with two-digit inflation”.
And the teaming of Argentina with Venezuela is not only limited to inflation. The report says the two have implemented the greatest monetary base expansion and together with Jamaica and Suriname, the four have experimented over 9% losses in international reserves in the first four months of the year, while in the rest of the region the opposite happened.
Eclac also points out that in all of the region’s countries, new formal jobs have been increasing with the sole exception of Argentina where there has been ‘a reduction in the increase of formal private jobs all along 2012 with a slight upwards tendency in the first quarter of 2013 compared to the last 2012 quarter”.
Nevertheless Eclac estimates the Argentine economy will expand 3.5% this year, above the regional average of 3% which has been contained by a lower than expected performance from Brazil (2.5%) and Mexico (2.8%).-