Destitution threshold jumped by 7.3% in April

A family of four needs AR$94,148 to not be considered destitute

The cost of a basic food basket in the Greater Buenos Aires Area increased by 7.3% in April, according to a report by the National Institute for Statistics and Census (INDEC) released today. That means that a family of four needed AR$94,148 (US$407 at the official rate, US$213 at the MEP dollar rate) that month to not be considered destitute.

The INDEC considers a family “destitute” when their monthly income is less than the basic food basket. A family is considered to be in poverty if they earn less than the basic food basket plus services, known as the total basic basket. The INDEC reported that the poverty threshold for April was AR$203,361 (US$880 at the official rate, US$460 at the MEP rate)– a 6.3% increase compared to March.

The year-on-year increase for the basic food basket and the total basic basket was 121.4% and 113.5% respectively.

The monthly figures for poverty and destitution were somewhat lower than the general inflation rate for April, which totaled 8.4%.

However, the baskets increased more than the inflation rate in the first four months of the year. Whereas the destitution and poverty thresholds surged by 40.1% and 33.3% respectively, prices increased by 32%.

In their general inflation report, the INDEC said that the “foods and non-alcoholic beverages” saw a 10.1% monthly hike, 1.7 percentage points higher than the general index. The price hikes were caused by increased vegetables, dairy products, eggs, sweets, and meat prices, according to the INDEC.

At the end of last year, the poverty rate reached 39.2%. During the same period in 2021, it was 37.3%.

With an estimated population of 46.2 million inhabitants, these figures imply that 18.1 million people are below the poverty line and, among them, 3.7 million are destitute.


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