Argentina's Inflation Rate Hits Grim Milestone

It's 5th country to see annual inflation enter triple digits
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 15, 2023 1:53 PM CDT
Argentina Joins a Worrisome Inflation Group
A man waits for customers inside his greengrocery in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Tuesday, March 14, 2023. Monthly inflation in Feb. reached 6.6% and annualized accumulates 102% according to the government.   (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

A Swiss banking giant isn't the only foreign entity having a rough week. Argentina on Tuesday announced that month-on-month inflation hit 6.6% in February, pushing its 12-month rate to 102.5%. That means the prices of many consumer goods have doubled over the course of a year, per the BBC. It's the first time Argentina's inflation rate has gone above 100% since 1991 and earns the country membership in a small group of nations experiencing triple-digit inflation. The Financial Times lists them as Zimbabwe, Lebanon, Venezuela, and Syria.

  • Context from the BBC: "Although the symbolism of the inflation rate shooting up past 100% is striking, the effects of soaring inflation have long been felt in Argentina." And while state price controls put in place have frozen the cost of some 1,700 items until December, the food and drink sector still managed to see 9.8% month-on-month growth in February. A 20% spike in the cost of meat, tied to weather-linked issues, was likely a driver.
  • Political implications: The situation is allowing "outsider candidate" Javier Milei to make headway ahead of October elections in which President Alberto Fernández will try to hang on to his seat. Bloomberg describes Milei as "an economist-turned-congressman best known for his combative television appearances" and "Donald Trump acolyte with a reputation for political theatrics over policy specifics."
(More inflation stories.)

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