April 24, 2014
INDEC to debut new IPC
INDEC statistics bureau is this week preparing to debut its new IMF-backed Consumer Price Index, which now covers prices in all of Greater Buenos Aires, and will release inflation data for January this Thursday.
Known by its Spanish acronym IPC-NU, the new price index was agreed upon with the International Monetary Fund, however the exact details of its methodology are still unclear.
The country’s inflation data has long been considered highly questionable, with monthly figures over the past seven year consistently hovering around the 0.7- to 0.8-percent mark, which were significantly short of private calculations.
INDEC’s data for 2013 put anual inflation at 10.9, while private firms and members of the opposition had it at 28.3 percent.
For January, private calculations suggest inflation will close somewhere between four and six percent, with recent price hikes in public transport, tolls, and fuel, among other products and services, set to push February’s floor inflation rate to at least two percent.
Domestic Trade Secretary Augusto Costa recognized the rise in prices as a “reaction to the devaluation” of the peso, which was the steepest in over a decade, while he also promised that “this week beef retail prices will start to fall.”
“There have also been product shortages, interruptions in retail, and changes to the system of paying in monthly installments and other commercial practices. This was generalized, but there were particular factors that forced us to intervene in certain supply chains to return things to normal,” he explained.
He also emphasized work on the medicines market to set “injustified” prices back to “pre-devaluation levels,” while the cardboard, glass and plastic packaging sector is also on the government’s radar, Costa said in an interview with Página/12.
Costa claimed there had been around 100 infractions so far of the government’s new “Precios Cuidados” price monitoring programme, with another 15 set to be investigated this week.
Herald staff with DyN