Inflation reaches record highs in Argentina and becomes the focus of the presidential election
Prices have risen by 124% in one year, and between August and September alone, they jumped by more than 12%, the highest in 30 years. A month before the presidential election, the subject plays in favor of the opposition candidates.
At the Central Market in Buenos Aires, September 12, 2023. REUTERS - MATIAS BAGLIETTO
By: RFI Follow
With our correspondent in Buenos Aires, Théo Conscience
Argentina recorded inflation in August of 12.4% - unseen in 32 years! -, at more than 124% now in interannual, a shadow weighing on the campaign of the presidential election in October but above all on the daily food of Argentines. The fruits and vegetables that Daniela buys and slips into her plastic bag are the products that have increased the most last month. "Today we buy at such a price and tomorrow it will be 5, 10 sometimes 45% more expensive!»
Among the commodities whose prices jumped in August, beef (more than 30% according to cuts), emblematic product of Argentines, the largest consumers in the world (with Uruguay), at about 48 kilos per capita per year, according to data (2021) from the Ministry of Agriculture.
The 22% devaluation of the Argentine peso that the IMF imposed on the government in mid-August had a direct impact on prices.
And imported products are the first concerned, explains the primeur Blas Franco behind his checkout. "Bananas, for example, were 900 pesos per kilo and now it's 1500 pesos. Potatoes are the same thing, all prices are soaring.»
Transport, energy, gasoline, household appliances, food: to try to contain inflation, Economy Minister and presidential candidate Sergio Massa has made agreements to freeze or limit price increases until October in all these sectors. But for Blas Franco, he is only pushing the problem away.
« Lies. Until when will prices be frozen? Because afterwards, before we have time to realize anything, the prices are multiplied by two or not three! So I hope Milei wins. »
Javier Milei, it is this ultraliberal and anti-system candidate, currently leading the voting intentions for the October 22 election, who promises to put an end to inflation by abandoning the peso to dollarize the Argentine economy.
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