Argentina's National Institute of Statistics and Census (Indec) announced Monday in Buenos Aires that October's Consumer Price Index (CPI) stood at 8.3% for a 142.7% year-on-year. These results showed a return to one-digit monthly inflation after 12.7% in September and 12.4% in August for an accumulated 120% in the first ten months of 2023, Indec also noted.
The item with the highest increase was Communication (12.6%) as a result of adjustments in telephone and Internet services, followed by seasonally-driven Clothing and Footwear (11.0%), and Household equipment and Maintenance (10.7%).
Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages went up 7.7%, with Meat and its by-products, Bread, Cereals, Milk and dairy products, and eggs accounting for most of the surge.
The lowest variations in October were recorded in Healthcare (5.1%) and Education (6.6%), Indec also maintained the week before next Sunday's presidential runoff between Economy Minister Sergio Massa and Libertarian Congressman Javier Milei.
Argentina's recurrent inflation resulted in the country outpacing Venezuela (6.7%) for the second month in a row, thus coming closer to hyperinflation, which Milei, a graduate economist, projected for between February and March 2024. (Read also: https://en.mercopress.com/2023/11/13/milei-claims-that-massa-s-coughing-choir-failed-to-destabilize-him). Other nations in the region such as Peru and Bolivia produced negative indexes (-0.32% and -0.01% respectively).
Venezuela still tops South America's list with 176.7% so far in 2023 and 362% interannually, according to the Venezuelan Observatory of Finance (an independent entity of the State). It is noteworthy that this 6.7% increase in prices occurred in a context in which the exchange rate remained relatively stable, with a 3.5% increase in the price of the dollar, which shows that the policy of trying to contain the exchange rate so that it acts as an inflation anchor does not seem to be giving the expected results, as inflationary expectations prevail in the economy, warned the institute.
Besides Argentina and Venezuela, yoy inflation in Lebanon reached 208.5% in September while October's figures are still to be released. Nevertheless, the latest monthly report mentioned a 1.4% CPI on average. In Turkey, the cost of living rose 3.43% in October and 61.36% year-on-year. In Suriname, September showed a monthly price variation of 1.5% and 50.8% over the past 12 months.