Argentina’s consumer prices rose 2.5 percent in February, according to the government’s INDEC statistics agency. The number represents a 1.2 perent increase compared to January’s rate of 1.3 percent. Should prices continue increasing at this pace — of 3.8 percent every two months — the yearly rate would loosely exceed the government’s expectations of keeping it under the 17 percent mark.
The main sectors that pushed the inflation rate higher last month were living expenses, which soared 8.3 percent, followed by education — understandable, considering that classes, teachers’ strike aside, begin in March. The increases in electricity bills and highway tolls also contributed to the final number.
This month’s rate was the highest in the past eight months, when the agency estimated a 3 percent increase in prices in June 2016. Indec’s number this month was higher than the ones estimated by the indexes elaborated by members of the opposition parties in Congress, called CPI (Consumer Price Index) Congress, and that of the CGT umbrella union. Both of them concluded that consumer prices had increased 2.1 percent this month. But according to the government’s numbers, and its goal of having the yearly rate stay under the 17 percent mark, inflation couldn’t exceed the 1.3 percent average in the next 10 months.