October price hikes take Argentina inflation to 88 percent

Buenos Aires Argentina inflation
Photo: Vitalii Karas/Shutterstock

Prices in Argentina continue to climb at a brutally fast pace, with the country’s inflation rate hitting 88 percent in the 12 months through October. According to Indec, the country’s official statistics agency, prices soared 6.3 percent last month alone — almost as much as Brazil’s inflation for the past year.

Prices of consumer goods rose by 91.8 percent over 12 months, while costs with services have gone up 78.4 percent as Argentina marches towards triple-digit inflation numbers. If the worst predictions are confirmed, it would be the first time Argentina would see 100-percent inflation in 30 years.

Breaking down the data by segment, the biggest spikes were for housing costs and utilities, a direct consequence of a reduction in energy subsidies. Food prices — which worry the government the most due to their disproportionate weight on the poorest — remained just below the average for the month at 6.2 percent. 

Vegetables and fruits, however, became 9 percent more expensive over the past month.

Scorching inflation has forced Argentina’s Central Bank to engage in one of the world’s steepest monetary tightening processes. The country’s benchmark interest rates nearly doubled in 2022, from 38 percent at the turn of the year to 75 percent now, as President Alberto Fernández promised to stage a “war against inflation.” 

Late in October, the Central Bank held rates for the first time this year, citing that inflation had been better than expected in September. The Central Bank said it “will continue monitoring the change in prices” and would “actively employ” the monetary policy interest rate.