New figures published by the National Institute of Statistics (Indec) show that inflation for the month of September was highest of 2019, at 5.9 percent, pushing annual inflation figures up to 53.5 percent. The goods with the highest price rises are those disproportionately consumed by lower-income households. The figures are likely to hurt neoliberal President Mauricio Macri as he faces elections on October 27th.
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The price of some basic goods rose even higher during September. The price of bread rose 14.2 percent, Chicken rose 14.3 percent, baby nappies rose 11.4 percent. Economists say that lower-income families are hit harder since the highest inflation is on goods prioritized by such families.
"Inflation in September shows the "inertia" of the devaluation, which also adds to the increases in some regulated prices such as fuel (which increased 4% despite the price freeze announced after the primary elections)...in addition, the effect of seasonal increases in fuel are observed by increases in clothing, fruits and vegetables,” said Hernán Letcher from the Centre of Political Economy in Argentina (CEPA).
Argentina’s economy has been in crisis ever since President Macri signed a multibillion-dollar IMF deal, forcing the country to adopt neoliberal economic reforms. Since then the country has experienced runaway inflation, rising unemployment, and negative growth.
Figures show that 36.4 percent of the population is living below the poverty line, equivalent to 16 million people. That figure has increased by over 8 percent in the last year alone, while 7.7 percent of are also homeless, equivalent to 3.4 million Argentinians. Child poverty is particularly high, of those under 14, 52 percent are officially poor.
Elections are set for the 27th of October, polls indicated that progressive candidate Alberto Fernandez is likely to win, along with his running mate, Cristina Fernandez, former leftist president who nationalized the country's oil reserves.