BUENOS AIRES – Argentina’s inflation reached 6.5 percent in September, a record level this year and one of the highest rates since the 2001-2002 financial crisis.
Argentina’s national statistics agency said in a report that September’s inflation represented a 40.5 percent increase compared to last year’s rate, leading to a 32.4-percent accumulated inflation in the first nine months of 2018.
September’s inflation rate was affected by the peso’s 96.3 percent drop in value against the dollar during 2018.
Argentina’s inflation is now close to the level reached during the 2001-2002 financial meltdown, which led to an accumulated inflation of 40.9 percent in 2002.
According to the results of a survey carried out last month in Greater Buenos Aires by a pair of think tanks, the depreciation of the peso and the rise in prices has led to a decrease in consumption.
Thirty-four percent of respondents said they had reduced their consumption of milk products; 54 percent of meat products; 63 percent of fruits and vegetables; 44 percent of carbonated drinks and juices; 69 percent of recreational activities; 39 percent of fuels, and 23 percent of medicines.
“There are people who don’t have enough money and must reduce their expenses. We are not doing well. I am not earning what I used to. Our income does not follow inflation, so we earn less and spend more. It is that simple,” said Julian Riveros, an electrician from Buenos Aires.
While the conservative government of President Mauricio Macri has insisted that it is committed to reducing inflation, its policies have not been very effective, with an inflation rate of 40 percent in 2016 and 24.8 percent last year.
Analysts consulted by Argentina’s central bank have increased their inflation estimates for this year to 44.8 percent.