Following a drop in October, private analysts project that inflation returned to double digits in November. Their Price Consumer Index (IPC) variation places the figure between 11.5% and 13.4%. In the best-case scenario, inflation would stay at this level for the upcoming months. Some experts say it could be even higher.
November, which included the special feature of a presidential runoff, showed some volatile price behaviors. According to consultants, the inflation rate started with strong spikes, calmed down before the elections, and sped up afterwards. The incidence, once again, is higher in food prices.
“November was divided into two stages: before and after the run-off. Our economy has been suffering repressed inflation due to price controls, a depreciated exchange rate, foreign restrictions with currency controls, a heavy lack of dollars for importing, and uneven price formation. After the run-off and with the election already resolved, prices start to seek a new balance and impact the inflation rate,” said Damian di Pace, head of Focus Market consulting firm.
In this scenario, “more than 50% of products had an inflation rate higher than double digits in November and accelerated in the last 10 days,” he said. Several mass-consumption products rose by 11.2%, according to the firm.
November inflation: what surveys say
A retail price survey conducted by C&T consulting firm in Buenos Aires province showed an 11.5% increase in November (in October it was 9.6%). “The month started with several significant adjustments after the break that had occurred before the October general elections. Things slowed down at that point, and after the run-off, we started seeing strong and general increases,” said company sources.
“Healthcare was the area that rose the most. Highlights include a 19% rise in drugs, one of the highest of all IPC items,” added consultant sources, who detailed that “food and beverages rose by 13%, with general rises of at least 9% and up to 22% in fruits and vegetables.”
The price correction after the ballot, “as a hedge against the uncertainty about replacement costs,” was one of the factors highlighted by Fundación Capital to estimate that inflation will return to double digits in November; in its last report, they estimated 11.3%.
According to a survey by the Libertad y Progreso Foundation, inflation in November was 12.6%. Meanwhile, Eco Go consultant estimated retail prices would rise 13.4%.
Once again, food prices pushed the rate upward. According to Eco Go, in the fourth week of the month they showed a 8% variation compared to the previous week. Their monthly increase amounts to 15.4%.
The near future does not look encouraging. The correction of several relative prices, added to the rises in different utilities that functioned with price controls, will have a full impact on inflation in December and the upcoming months.