President Mauricio Macri has publicly acknowledged for the first time that annual inflation this year will be 30 percent.
Speaking on Tuesday to Radio Cadena 3, the president said that the high consumer prices "unfortunately are a product of this storm," the latter word a reference to this year's sharp devaluation and recent run on the peso.
Economic instability and the currency crisis led Macri's government to seek a financing deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) worth up to US$50 billion earlier this year. The administration hopes will sure up the country's economy, with a recession expected in the immediate coming months and stubborn double-digit inflation cutting purchasing power.
Macri advised Argentines to "take care of themselves, look and compare" prices when they shop for groceries and other items, as he criticised businesses that seek to "abuse" the instability. He said his government would investigate those who have "abusive attitudes" toward pricing.
Argentina currently has one of the world's highest inflation rates. Last week, the INDEC national statistics bureau said consumer prices rose 3.7 percent in June, bringing the 12-month nationwide inflation rate to 29.5 percent. In the first six months of 2018, inflation has totalled 16 percent.
President Macri said that he had sought to "lower inflation and public spending," stressing that "we have to lower the deficit faster, so we can lower inflation."
The president said that inflation would "continue to go down and down," predicting Argentina would reach single-digit inflation "in two or three years."
Date: 1 August 2018