(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A fruit seller looks on as he waits for customers outside a market in Salta, Argentina August 11, 2021. REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian
By Hernan Nessi and Jorge Iorio
BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Argentina’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 2.5% in August, the country’s official statistics agency said on Tuesday, the smallest rise in over a year as the government tries to tamp down inflation that has damaged its popularity.
The South American country is grappling with stubborn inflation that clocked in at an annual rate of 51.4% in the month, even as prices cooled on a month-to-month basis amid price control measures and caps on exports of beef.
The monthly increase compared favorably with the projections of 18 analysts polled by Reuters who had forecast an average rise of 2.8%, ranging from a minimum estimate of 2.5% to a maximum of 3.2% for the eighth month of the year.
Argentine Economy Minister Martin Guzman had said the monthly inflation rate would be lower than the 3% in July and that he expected it to keep falling in coming months. Consumer prices rose 32.3% in the first eight months of the year.
Analysts maintain their projections for inflation of around 49% this year, higher than last year, which is a strain on local savings and salary levels, a headache for the government ahead of congressional elections in November.
The ruling Peronist party was dealt a blow on Sunday in a primary ballot, which showed the conservative opposition gaining votes in most regions.
“Unlike what the government is saying, we expect inflation to overheat as we approach the end of the year to end at 49%,” said Isaias Marini, economist at consultancy Econviews.
(Graphic: Battling inflation, https://graphics.reuters.com/ARGENTINA-INFLATION/qmyvmdzmjpr/chart.png)
Argentina inflation cools to 2.5% in August
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