By Patrick Gillespie
Argentina’s monthly inflation would have accelerated in March at the highest pace in at least the last seven months, implying a new setback for Economy Minister Sergio Massa before the October elections.
Consumer prices are estimated to have risen by 7% in March versus the previous month, the fastest pace since Massa took office in August, according to the median estimate of five private economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
While inflation typically accelerates in March due to seasonal factors, the worsening outlook indicates that Argentina’s currency controls, series of rate hikes, and price freezes on thousands of items are proving ineffective.
Annual inflation exceeding 100% casts doubt on the political future of Massa, who is considered by many as a possible presidential candidate for the ruling Peronist coalition.
No Peronist candidates have yet been presented, and last week, President Alberto Fernández told the press that he has not yet decided whether he will run for re-election.
Price increases continue to be high across the board.
While education and clothing led the increases due to seasonal factors, food costs, the highest weighted category in Argentina’s price index, are estimated to have risen 6.7% in March, according to Santiago Manoukian, head of research at the consulting firm Ecolatina.
These are the projections for March:
With information from Bloomberg