On Friday a bunch of ugly data points came out of Argentina, compounding worries in a country that has seen its stock market fall 15% in the last five days.
On Friday the city of Buenos Aires released its inflation data. The inflation rate inched up 2.2%, bringing it up to 40.3% for the year.
The city’s data is key because Buenos Aires publishes its own stats separate from the numbers the federal government publishes.
As a result, the city’s numbers are widely seen as more accurate. Argentina’s government has gotten in trouble from the IMF and other international bodies for publishing inaccurate numbers that show a lower inflation rate.
The Mayor of Buenos Aires, Mauricio Macri, has been a harsh critic of the Kirchner regime for years and is a contender in the 2015 Presidential election. Since the country defaulted back in July, he’s been gaining in national polls.
The only country in Latin America that rivals Argentina in terms of a surging inflation is Venezuela. Because of this both countries, says Pantheon Economics senior analyst Andres Abadia, are already experiencing significant damage to their economies.
“Many years of unorthodox economic policies have condemned these two countries to a grim decade, wrecked by uncontrolled inflation,” Abadia wrote in a recent note. “The situation is not as bad as the 80’s or 90’s when the region’s average inflation rate hit a peak of 438%, but inflation has been high enough and unstable enough to cause real damage. Also on Friday the country’s industrial union published data on industrial production. August industrial activity fell 4.9% from the same time last year. August exports fell 13% from the month before while imports fell 20%.”
Also on Friday the country’s industrial union published data on industrial production. August industrial activity fell 4.9% from the same time last year.
August exports fell 13% from the month before while imports fell 20%.
This is all worrisome in a country that desperately needs to keep cash flowing through its economy. Capital flight is rampant, Central Bank dollar reserves are sitting at around $US28 billion, and Citigroup estimates that GDP growth will contract 0.1% next year.
All in all, Barclays predicts this could mean that the country will have $US10 billion in its Central Bank by this time next year.
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