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Montevideo, May 28th 2024 - 20:17 UTC



Argentina: Inflation keeps decelerating in April

Tuesday, May 14th 2024 - 23:05 UTC
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Before April, monthly inflation had remained in double digits for five months in a row, Argentina's National Institute of Statistics and Census reported Before April, monthly inflation had remained in double digits for five months in a row, Argentina's National Institute of Statistics and Census reported

Argentina's National Institute of Statistics and Census (Indec) Tuesday announced that April's Consumer Price Index (CPI) stood “at 8.8% in April 2024 compared to March and 289.4% year-on-year.” The government agency also noted in its X account that “they accumulated an increase of 65% in the first quarter.”

The new figures mark a new feat for President Javier Milei's administration which took office on Dec. 10, 2023, when monthly inflation was around 25% and remained in double digits for five straight months.

The result had somehow been forecast by the latest Central Bank's (BCRA) Survey of Market Expectations (Relevamiento de Expectativas de Mercado - REM) report drafted through a compilation of input from leading economists had mentioned a 9% increase for April and 161.3% for the year. Other private projections had envisioned a national CPI between 7.7% and 9.5%.

Last week the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires (CABA) said inflation in the capital of South America's second-largest country's capital last month had amounted to 9.8% and 292.85 yoy, an index which usually heralds the federal figures to be released in the following days. During the first four months of the year, the local CPI reached 72.6%.

Under Milei, inflation started at 25.5% in December) but has progressively waned down. The last single-digit measurement dates back to October 2023 (8.3%). Nevertheless, the government never drifted away from its zero fiscal deficit goal, even at the political cost of people losing their jobs or becoming unable to make ends meet.

In this scenario, leaders from Argentina's industrial SMEs paraded before Congress Tuesday to protest against the so-called Omnibus Law bill whereby Milei seeks to introduce significant changes to the country's economy that, the SMEs fear, will be detrimental to their activities and the national industry in a broad sense. The initiative has already been approved by the Lower House and is now being debated in the Senate. The most controversial item is the Large Investment Incentive Regime (RIGI) which has been penned to favor big corporations, the SMEs argued. “We cannot be competitive and, knowing that, not only the government but also the legislators open up trade” to shipments from abroad, a demonstrator was quoted as saying. The RIGI would grant large companies tax benefits that SMEs do not have, it was also explained.

Meanwhile, adding to Argentina's recovery, the International Monetary Fund announced earlier this week that the South American country had passed with flying colors the eighth review of its debt refinancing program and was now eligible for a disbursement of around US$ 800 million that still needs the nod of the Washington-based agency's Board of Directors.

Categories: Economy, Politics, Argentina.

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