Argentina: Inflation moderates further in March
April 15, 2011
In March, consumer prices rose 0.80% over the previous month, up from the 0.74% price increase registered in February but well below the 1.14% increase tallied in March last year. As a result, annual headline inflation moderated from 10.0% in February to 9.6% in March, reaching the lowest level in 12 months. Official inflation data published by the National Statistics Institute (INDEC) continues to be met with suspicion ever since a controversial change in the methodology to measure price variations was implemented some two years ago. Allegations that INDEC data may be manipulated by the government have been repeatedly denied by the local authorities. Official inflation figures continue to be well below independent analysts' estimates Owing to the persistent lack of confidence in the government's official inflation statistics, the government invited the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to assist INDEC in the development of a new consumer price index. The IMF team visited the country in April and the government is likely to soon announce changes in the calculation of the consumer price index. Consumers share the more realistic assessment of inflation made by private analysts. According to a survey from Universidad Torcuato di Tella (UTDT) conducted in April, households believe that consumer prices will increase 25% over the next 12 months, which was in line with the result of March's survey.
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions