LatinNews Daily - 13 October 2023

In brief: Argentina’s central bank hikes rates as inflation surges

* Argentina’s central bank (BCRA) has raised its benchmark interest rate to 133%, up from 118%, following higher-than-expected inflation figures for September. The hike came shortly after Argentina’s national statistics institute (Indec) released the consumer price index for September, which showed that monthly inflation was 12.7%, bringing the annual rate to 138.3%.  This surpassed levels in August – which had seen the highest rates in over three decades - when monthly inflation was at 12.4% and annual inflation stood at 124.4%. The BCRA noted that the monthly inflation rate was driven by “the statistical drag from the price acceleration that took place in August, following the recalibration of the official exchange rate”. September’s inflation figures are the final rates to be released before the first-round of the presidential elections on 22 October. The continuing surge in inflation is likely to harm the candidacy of Economy Minster Sergio Massa, who is running for the ruling Unión por la Patria (UP) coalition.

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