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Argentina inflation nears 80%; spiraling prices squeeze shoppers

Thursday, September 15, 2022

By Hernan Nessi and Miguel Lo Bianco

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina's monthly inflation blew past forecasts at 7% in August and soared to nearly 80% from a year earlier, a government agency reported on Wednesday, despite efforts by officials and central bankers to curb spiraling prices.

The month-on-month inflation reading, reported by the INDEC statistics agency, was cooler than the 7.4% in July but above the 6.6% median analyst forecast in a Reuters poll.

The South American country, a major grains producer, has one of the world's highest inflation rates. The situation has been aggravated by rising global food and fuel costs and has dented the popularity of President Alberto Fernandez's center-left government ahead of elections next year.

The government has pushed retailers to freeze some prices, with some supermarkets rationing purchases of staples like flour, sugar and milk in a bid to control prices. Shopping costs have nonetheless soared.

"From one week to the next, you seem to spend twice as much," Graciela Negretti, a 67-year-old retiree in Buenos Aires, told Reuters.

"Yesterday I went to the supermarket and I came home just sickened. I told my children that things surely could not increase this much in just a few days."

Inflation in the 12 months through August hit 78.5%, while prices were up 56.4% in the first eight months of the year. A central bank poll recently forecast that Argentina would end the year with an inflation rate of 95%, while some private analysts predict it will hit 100%.

Lucia Estevez, 38, an interior designer, told Reuters that many people were not making it to the end of the month as inflation devalued their salaries, forcing people to cut out small luxuries they had enjoyed.

"You're always trying to just stay afloat," she said. "You never have anything spare to be able to treat yourself."

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04-10-2022 14:08:49 (UTC+7)

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EUR/USD

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 EUR/USD0.9883↑ Buy
 GBP/USD1.1395↑ Buy
 USD/JPY144.65Neutral
 AUD/USD0.6540Neutral
 USD/CAD1.3574↑ Sell
 EUR/JPY142.96↑ Buy
 EUR/CHF0.9776↑ Buy
 Gold1,717.05↑ Buy
 Silver21.065Buy
 Copper3.4878↑ Buy
 Crude Oil WTI84.28↑ Buy
 Brent Oil89.67↑ Buy
 Natural Gas6.489Buy
 US Coffee C215.55↑ Sell
 Euro Stoxx 503,393.65↑ Buy
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 Allianz163.27Neutral
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 Lufthansa5.796Sell
 Siemens AG102.44↑ Sell
 Deutsche Bank AG7.747↑ Sell
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