Argentina inflation, highest in decades, seen at 6.7% in Sept

By Walter Bianchi

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Argentina’s inflation rate likely eased slightly in September to 6.7%, a Reuters poll of analysts showed, but remained stubbornly high overall, supporting forecasts that it could top 100% this year, the highest annual level since the early 1990s.

That monthly rate would be lower that a 7% price rise in August and a July peak of 7.4%. The South American country has been battling to bring down one of the world’s highest inflation rates.

The projections were made by 16 analysts surveyed by Reuters, with estimates ranging between 6.5% and 7%. A poll by Argentina’s central bank estimates 2022 inflation of 100.3%.

“Inflation will remain very high and we expect it to rise 6.5% in September and then drop moderately to 6% per month in the last quarter,” said local settlement and clearing agent Cohen SA, adding the end of the year would be tough with lower exports and rising pressure on state spending.

The country’s high inflation rate has pushed the central bank to repeatedly hike the interest rate to the current level of 75%. The bank is debating a potential new interest rate hike, a source close to the bank told Reuters on Tuesday.

“We are seeing the largest accumulated inflation for the first nine months of the year since 1991,” consultancy Libertad y Progreso Foundation said in a report.

Argentina’s official INDEC statistics institute will release inflation data for September on Friday.

(Reporting by Walter Bianchi; Writing by Valentine Hilaire; Editing by David Gregorio)