Next Wednesday, the INDEC is set to release the inflation data for January. According to consultants, the inflation rate ranged between 20% and 23%. This level is below December’s 25.5%, with a small deceleration in the third week of the month.
A first indication of what happened in the first month of the year is the data from the government of the City of Buenos Aires, which is typically in line with the CPI at the national level. In the Buenos Aires area, the increase in January was 21.7%, the highest since the beginning of the statistical series in 2012, with an interannual variation of the index amounting to 238.5%.
Economist Rocío Bisang of the consulting firm EcoGo estimates that inflation for January is 21.2%. She notes that the month was marked by the drag left by the December increases, particularly in areas such as health and transportation.
Lorenzo Sigaut Gravina, director of the consulting firm Equilibra, commented that preliminary data for January was lower than that for December, with an inflation rate of 22.5%.
The fall in purchasing power, with wages running behind prices, acted as a brake on inflation, leading to a slower pace in January. Demand fell in cars, shopping malls, supermarkets, gasoline, and retail stores.
Consulting firm Ferreres & Asociados estimated that the inflation rate for January would end close to 18% monthly, with an interannual growth of 244.5%. Core inflation advanced at a monthly rate of 19.5%.
The first Market Expectations Survey (REM) from the Central Bank showed that economists participating in the survey calculated a monthly inflation of 21.9% for January, with estimates of 18% for February and 227% for the year.
The consulting firm LCG estimates inflation of 23.1% for January. In their survey on food, they found that in the first week of February, higher price levels were recorded again, with weekly inflation averaging 13.4% in the last four weeks.
Among consultants, there is agreement that inflation in February will decrease compared to January, which is typically a higher month in terms of inflation. According to the economist of the Libertad Foundation, Lautaro Moschet, the CPI leaves a drag of 3.1 points for February, less than half of December’s drag of 6.8 percentage points. The foundation projects February’s inflation to be around 14%.