Argentina annual inflation over 104%, poverty up by 40%, people report ‘zero capacity to save’

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In Argentina, the annual inflation rate has soared to a high of 104.3 per cent. The astounding high was revealed by the nation’s official statistics agency on Friday. Reuters reports that this is one of the highest inflation rates in the world. Argentina’s soaring prices have badly dented people’s salaries and have pushed up poverty in the nation to 40 per cent.

Argentina, which is one of the world’s major grain exporters, is currently grappling with one of the worst droughts in its history. The dry season has reportedly “hammered” soy, corn and wheat crops, and lost exports and falling domestic prices have knocked billions off the country’s economy.

“The number we see today represents the worst moment of the impact of the war on international prices and the worst drought in history in our country,” said presidential spokeswoman Gabriela Cerruti on Twitter.

“We know, it hurts us, it occupies us, how this affects daily life and every family,” she said adding that the government is “redoubling” its efforts and that they hoped a downward trend in inflation would be “reflected soon.”

“In my case, I have zero capacity to save,” said Claudia Hernansaez, a publishing company employee while talking to Reuters.

The inflation rate for the month registered at 7.7 per cent, significantly exceeding the 7.1 per cent that analysts had anticipated, and making it the highest monthly growth since 2002. This puts additional strain on the government, which is confronted with agitated citizens prior to the October elections.

The inflationary crisis is Argentina’s worst since 1991, a year that as per Reuters marked the end of a period of hyperinflation. With the increase in inflation, approval ratings for the nation’s President Alberto Fernandez have taken hits and are currently hovering just above 20 per cent. Inflation is expected to be one of the deciding issues for voters in the upcoming October elections.

(With inputs from agencies)


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