Argentines seek strategies to survive 100% inflation

By Miguel Lo Bianco and Claudia Martini

BUENOS AIRES, March 14 (Reuters) – Argentines go to food markets in search of lower prices that allow them to avoid annual inflation of almost 100%, one of the highest rates in the world, which will affect the presidential elections of October.

Amid a delicate financial situation, Argentina will announce on Tuesday the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is expected to exceed 100% for the first time since the hyperinflation period of the late 1980s and early 1980s. 1990.

“Yes, I found out that it is 100% annually and you can’t, you can’t. Let them all go like this. I’m tired of all this, of the politicians who fight and the people who starve. It doesn’t work anymore for more,” Patricia Quiroga, a neighbor looking for prices at a food fair in San Fernando, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, told Reuters.

According to the median of a Reuters poll published on Monday, the CPI would have advanced 6.2% in February, after jumping 6% the previous month, accumulating a triple-digit increase in 12 months for the first time since October 1991, when it reached 102.4%.

High inflation, which ended at 95% in 2022 despite the Government’s efforts to limit it, has pushed a part of the population into poverty -over 40%-, in addition to generating moodiness and extra efforts among Argentines to reach at the end of the month.

“There is no money, people don’t have it and so how do they buy? The other days I came and said: ‘Give me 3 tangerines, 2 oranges, 2 bananas and half a kilo of tomatoes,'” said Irene Devita, 74, in a market.

“When he told me it cost 650 pesos ($3.25), I told him ‘take everything out and leave me the tomatoes because I don’t have any more money,'” he added, describing a situation that millions of Argentines experience daily.

According to polls, inflation is one of the issues that worries the population the most and is likely to harm the current Peronist administration in the general elections next October, for which the center-right opposition would have a better chance.

(1 dollar = 200.2 pesos)

(Reporting by Miguel Lo Bianco, with additional reporting by Adam Jourdan. Writing by Lucila Sigal; Editing by Nicolás Misculin)

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