Juan Carlos Barboza & Diego Ciongo
Consumer prices rose by 6.0% mom in January (from 5.1% in December), above expectations of 5.6% according to the central bank survey of the top ten forecasters. Annualized quarterly inflation declined to 86.8% in January, from 88.4% in December. The 12-month inflation reading came in at 98.8%.
Core inflation stood at 5.4% in January, up from 5.3% in December. Annualized core inflation fell to 83.0% in the quarter ended in January, from 84% in 4Q22. Prices for regulated items rose by 7.1% mom and 93.5% yoy, following the adjustments in electricity, gasoline and communications. Prices for seasonal products rose by 7.9% mom and 131.7% yoy.
In the absence of consistent fiscal and monetary policies, price controls are unlikely to succeed in taming inflation. We maintain our inflation forecast of 100% for this year. We also see a Leliq rate of 80% by end-year from the current level of 75%.
Juan Carlos Barboza