Argentina: Inflation picks up in February
March 13, 2012
In February, consumer prices rose 0.74% over the previous month, which was below the 0.91% expansion recorded in January. The monthly increase was mainly driven by higher prices for food and beverages as well as for healthcare. Despite the monthly increase, annual headline inflation was unchanged at January's 9.7%. Official inflation data published by the National Statistics Institute (INDEC) are continually met with suspicion ever since a controversial change to the price variation measurement methodology was implemented three years ago. As a result, private sector analysts have begun to report independent inflation estimates that differ notably from the official figures. The government has repeatedly denied allegations that INDEC data are manipulated and, in March 2011, went a step further by fining a number of consulting firms for publishing independent inflation estimates. In early February 2012, the IMF gave a six-month deadline to Argentinean authorities to implement specific measures in order to improve the quality of inflation data, but INDEC has failed to act so far.
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions