Buenos Aires' Villa 31 (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

The Indec statistics agency reported yesterday that the cost of the Total Basket of Goods (CBT) – a group of goods and services needed that determines the poverty line – for a household comprised of two adults and two children, increased by 26.8 percent in 2017 and clocked in at AR $16,677.

The figure means that the cost to stay above the poverty line rose two points more than the annual inflation rate, which the agency determined to be of 24.8 percent.

In contrast, the cost of the basic food basket which, as its name implies, includes only basic food needed to subsist and determines the destitution line, increased by 21.7 percent in 2017 – reaching AR $6,444 – 3.1 percent less than the annual inflation rate.

Both indexes exclude rent from their measurements. Presumably, this is the case because rent prices vary considerably depending on the size and location of the place the household inhabits, and the consequent impossibility to establish an average.