The INDEC national statistics bureau this afternoon published for the first time in almost three years the monthly values of the so called Food Basket (CBA) and Total Basket (CBT). These indeces are particularly important because they indicate how much money a person or a household needs to not fall under the lines of poverty and destitution, respectively. According to the study, a household consisting of two adults and two children needed AR$12,489.37 to not be poor and and AR$5,175.92 to not be destitute.
The basic food basket, as its name implies, includes only food whereas the CBT includes some services as well, although both assume that rent does not have to be paid.
The most significant part about these numbers though are that they’re the first step in the INDEC publishing the numbers that really matter: poverty. The poverty rate will be published on September 28 for the first time since December 2013. By then the numbers were seen as pretty meaningless considering everyone knew they weren’t a real reflection of the situation after years of government intervention in the statistics agency. When President Mauricio Macri took office, his administration quickly declared a “statistics emergency” that allowed INDEC to hold off on publishing data in order to redo its methodologies. .
The only numbers on poverty released this year came from the projections by the Argentine Catholic University (UCA), estimating that during the first four months of Macri’s administration, roughly 1.4 million people fell under the poverty line, largely due to inflation and hikes in public utilities. That number meant the poverty rate increased from 29 to 32.6 percent between December 2015 and April of this year,while destitution rose from 5.3 to 6.9 percent.