LatinNews Daily - 13 March 2024

In brief: Argentina’s monthly inflation continues to ease

*Argentina’s national statistics institute (Indec) has released the latest consumer price index for February which shows a decrease in monthly inflation for the second consecutive month. Monthly inflation in February was 13.2%, down from 20.6% in January and 25.5% in December 2023. However, the annual rate continued to rise, reaching 276.2%, up from 254.2% last month and 211.4% in December. According to Indec, the steepest monthly price increases were for communication (+24.7%), transport (+21.6%), and housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels (+20.2%). Despite the growing annual rate, Argentina’s central bank (BCRA) announced on 11 March that it was cutting its benchmark interest rate from 100% to 80%, citing a slowdown in inflation and a rebuilding of depleted net reserves since President Javier Milei took office in December, among other factors. On 12 March Argentina’s presidential spokesperson, Manuel Adorni, announced that the government was opening imports of certain basic food products in order to make prices more competitive for Argentine families. He also said that tax relief would be granted on certain imported products.

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