The National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (Indec) of Argentina says the country’s 2018 inflation rate reached 47.6 percent, the highest in 27 years when the Carlos Menem administration was in office.
20,000 Argentines Protest President Macri's Economic Policies
According to the report, the most significant increase in prices was regarding basic consumer goods such as food, beverages, cleaning products and public transport, which directly affected all classes of the population. The Macri administration also eliminated certain transport subsidies that increased bus and subway costs for passengers. In sum public transport went up by 67 percent during 2018, cleaning products were up by 50 percent.
National unions and organizations protested government austerity measures to education, culture, and housing by the thousands throughout the year. The government has laid off at least 32,000 people—13 percent of the workforce—since Macri took office in December 2015, according to France 24.
The country's currency devalued by 50 percent between May and September of last year and has remained at the record low since. The government attempted to stabilize the economy through a US$57 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan while selling off billions in pesos and dollar reserves in the form of short-term government bonds.
These bonds and austerity measures have been the government's Aquiles heal and have brought the economy down the hardest, Mark Weisbrot from the Center for Economic and Policy Research told teleSUR in September.