Inflation for the month of March was reported to have reached 7.7% for a 104.3% interannual and 21.7% in the first quarter of 2023, the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (Indec) said Friday. In February, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 6.6%.
The item to grow the highest was Education (29.1%), due to the beginning of the school year, followed by Clothing and Footwear (9.4%), Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages (9.3%), Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (8.3%); Utilities (6.5%), Fuels and Public Transportation (5.3%).
The lowest variations in March were Recreation and Culture (+4.4%) and Communication (+1.9%). Restaurants and Hotels went up 7.9 for a year-on-year increase of 121.4 %, the highest in the itemized study.
March's price increase is the highest of the Frente de Todos government, surpassing the 7.4 % recorded in July 2022, after the unexpected departure of then-Economy Minister Martín Guzmán, which was also the highest since the country left the AR$1/US$1 convertibility of the 1990s.
The school basket is usually the main item to be measured in March, which this year stood at 29.1 % percent due to the increase in fees at all educational levels, thus almost quadrupling the general price increase.
Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages were driven by bread (+12.9%), different cuts of meat with increases nearing 10%, chicken (26.7%), and eggs (25.7%), also affected by the onset of avian flu.
When analyzing price increases by region, Cuyo (7.9%), Pampeana, and Greater Buenos Aires (both with 7.8%) were above the country's average, while the Northwest (7.3%), Patagonia (7%), and Northeast (6.2%) were below that mark.
Meat and its byproducts also showed a yoy increase of 106.6%, the highest for the category during President Alberto Fernández's tenure. Food inflation was 28.2% in the first three months of 2023.
The drought also played a fundamental role in an outcome that exceeded by far Economy Minister Sergio Massa's expectations to reach inflation around 3% as of April.
According to the Indec, lettuce went up 58.5% in March; oranges 43.6%, and round tomatoes 37.3%.