Argentina gives first inflation statistic in 6 months

GMT 00:48 2016 Thursday ,16 June

Arab Today, arab today Argentina gives first inflation statistic in 6 months

INDEC Director Jorge Todesca (C)
Buenos Aires - AFP

Argentina resumed publishing official inflation figures Wednesday, six months after the new conservative government declared a "statistical emergency" over what it said were years of bogus data.

Ordinary Argentines don't need statisticians to tell them that the price of their beloved beef ribs is going up. But the question was just how fast.

Finally, they have what President Mauricio Macri's government calls a reliable answer.

May inflation came in at 4.2 percent, announced the director of revamped national statistics institute INDEC, Jorge Todesca.

"We are leaving behind nearly nine years in which public statistics were destroyed," he told a press conference.

INDEC did not release an annual inflation figure, saying it would take time to build back up to reliable long-term data.

Macri, who took office in December, accuses the governments of his left-wing predecessors, Nestor and Cristina Kirchner, of manipulating the country's official economic data to make it look better.

The last time monthly inflation had been released, in October 2015, it stood at 1.1 percent.

But independent analysts said that was well off the mark.

The annual inflation rate currently stands around 43 percent, according to an estimate published by Congress based on studies by private economists.

The same studies put the monthly figure at 3.5 percent for May.

Finance Minister Alfonso Prat-Gay said that after the inflation figures, revised statistics for economic growth would follow later this month and poverty estimates in September.

Kirchner stopped publishing figures for the poverty rate in 2014.

A recent study by Argentina's Catholic University estimated that more than a third of Argentines are living in poverty.

It said the number of people in poverty rose by 1.4 million in the first three months of Macri's government.

The conservative president has launched budget cuts, hiked public service tariffs and cut thousands of jobs.

His reforms have sparked angry street protests.

Macri's opponents say his policies are punishing the poor. He says they are necessary to strengthen the economy in the long term.

Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
arabtoday arabtoday arabtoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabs, Arab, Arab