Argentine annual inflation hit 27-year high in 2018
(Updates with highest rate since 1991, background on 2018
BUENOS AIRES, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Consumer price inflation in
Argentina in 2018, fueled by a weak peso currency, was a
whopping 47.6 percent, data from the National Institute of
Statistics and Censuses showed on Tuesday
That was the highest annual rate since 1991, analysts said.
Consumer prices rose 2.6 percent in December, the data showed.
The monthly and annual figures were in line with market
expectations, according to analysts consulted by Reuters who
estimated an increase for the consumer price index of 2.5
percent in December and 47.4 percent for 2018.
"The central bank's priority is to prevent episodes such as
those experienced in 2018 from recurring," Argentina's central
bank said in a digital communication with journalists.
"Because monetary policy acts with lags and corrections to
regulated prices and pending wage agreements, it is normal to
expect monthly inflation to remain at these levels in the coming
months," the bank added.
Inflation was fueled in part by a weakening Argentine peso,
which lost more than half its value against the dollar in 2018.
The currency crisis prompted Argentina to sign a $56.3
billion financing deal with the International Monetary Fund, the
largest rescue package in IMF history, to ensure the country
would meet its financing needs through 2020.
The IMF deal calls on Argentine to erase its primary fiscal
deficit this year. As part of its fiscal effort, the government
cut public utility subsidies. This contributed to inflation by
pushing up household water, electricity and heating gas bills to
levels that many Argentines struggled to pay as their paychecks
were also losing value.
(Reporting by Jorge Otaola; writing by Cassandra Garrison)
© 2019 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved. Reuters content is the intellectual property of Thomson Reuters or its third party content providers. Any copying, republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. "Reuters" and the Reuters Logo are trademarks of Thomson Reuters and its affiliated companies.