The day after tomorrow the variation in the price index for February will be announced, which is estimated at around 6%, similar to the rate of January, with an interannual rate that will exceed 100%. However, while private analysts readjust their expectations upwards for 2023, the government still maintains its budget goal of 60% for the entire year, according to the Infobae portal.
In the offices of the economic team they recognize that February, in their original plan for a staggered drop in inflation, the second month of the year is “lost”, since the economy will not register a slowdown in the magnitude planned, at the rate of one percentage point at the monthly rate every 75 days.
The CPI for February will be very similar to that of January -for some consultants even higher- but the official reading is that the increase in meat during the second month of the year had a weight that deactivated any possibility of, at least, that the index has some sign of slowdown.
In the Palacio de Hacienda they have not yet resigned the goal of reducing inflation that they proposed in the 2023 Budget and in agreement with the International Monetary Fund. The February rate will show a year-on-year rate of 100% and the economy will have ten months left, if that official premise is met, to cut that rate of price variation no less than forty percentage points.
For now, the Economy officials insist that the strong price inertia must be addressed, among other measures, with agreements and controls, since they ensure, for their part, that the macroeconomic “fundamentals” “are consistent”. with a monthly inflation rate of 4%, an idea with which Deputy Minister Gabriel Rubinstein constantly rattles.
For February, most consultants forecast a rate of around 6%. For EcoGo, for example, it was 6.4%, with core inflation (which rules out seasonal or regulated prices) of 6.6%, and which marks with greater intensity the level of inertia for the coming months.
“Regulated prices ran below the monthly average. During the month there were increases in fuel, telephony and internet, and prepaid, among others, which determined a 5.2% monthly increase in the category. Seasonal prices experienced a rise 6.6%, thus bringing cumulative inflation to 13.5%”, highlights an analysis by the consultancy headed by Marina Dal Poggetto.
Regarding the official hypothesis of a relevant effect of the increases in meat on the CPI for February, EcoGo analyzed that “both rear and front cuts were the ones that experienced the greatest increases in the month, with an average increase of 19.4 percent.” hundred”.
The perspective of reaching a variation of the monthly CPI that starts with 3% appears, in this context, as a more probable target for the last part of the year. Furthermore, historically, March is usually a month with inflationary acceleration such as the start of classes or the change of season in clothing. There are also expected gas increases that will impact the index for the third month of the year.
The drag that February left for the current month was addressed by the consultancy C&T Asesores Económicos: “February is usually a month of relatively low inflation but it was not like that this year. This abnormal behavior was due to the 9.2% rise that it had the category of food and beverages, the one with the highest weighting, especially the 20% increase in meat”. they pointed.
Won’t it slow down?
The C&T Asesores Económicos economist, María Castiglioni Cotter, assured that there are macroeconomic elements to expect stable inflation or higher than the current one for the coming months, rather than fundamentals that make it slow down. “None of the factors that help lower inflation are present today,” she mentioned in dialogue with FM Milenium.