Prices rose by 6% in Buenos Aires in February, according to the city government’s statistics and census board. Inter-annual inflation in the capital hit 103.1%, surpassing the 100% mark.
The figure is down by 1.3 percentage points compared with January, when monthly inflation for the city was 7.3%. That means that, in the first two months of the year, prices went up by 13.7%.
The figure reflected increases mainly in housing and utilities, food and non-alcoholic beverages, restaurants and hotels, health and recreation, and culture.
Housing rose by 8.5% last month, mainly due to rent and electricity increases. Food in the city went up by 7.7%, explained mainly by a surge in meat prices, which increased 15.2%. Restaurant and hotel prices rose by 5.9%, driven largely by higher food costs. Recreation and culture surged by 8.7%, mainly due to increases in tourist packages.
Business consulting firm Ecolatina published its own January inflation index for the Greater Buenos Aires area, which it put at 6.6% for the month and 105.5% for the year.
“March tends to be a month with higher inflation than the rest of the year,” the report read. Ecolatina said that the drought, as well as increases in salaries and utilities, an acceleration of the crawling peg (the depreciation of the peso against the US dollar), import restrictions and tensions over the exchange rate gap will accelerate inflation during the year.
Inflation in Buenos Aires, measured by the city government, does not always reflect the national rate. Last month, inflation in the capital was 1.7 points higher than the national average published by INDEC, the national administration’s statistics institute.
INDEC will publish the national inflation figure on March 14.