The rise in the price of food has had a strong impact on inflation for some time.
But last month in particular they had
the highest impact on the
Consumer Price Index high
since September 2016.
This is indicated by the calculations of the consultancy Ecolatina, which forecasts a rise in general inflation of
6.6% for February
Within this variation, the increase in the food and beverages chapter, of 10.6%,
explained 57% of the general level, the highest percentage in
the last six years.
INDEC will report the official data on March 14.
The importance of the increase in food was such, they say in Ecolatina, that
"if this item was excluded, the CPI would have climbed 4.4%."
"As we expected, the increase was driven mainly by the jump in bovine
in the monthly variation), which responded to the increase in the price of live cattle, more associated with domestic consumption, which was 50% since the second half of January.
In this way,
meat explained 1.3 points of the increase in the general level.
The increases in
fruits (+17.9%) and vegetables (+10.4%),
which remain at high levels as a result of a lower supply due to the drought, also stood out, the consultant said in its latest report.
On the other hand, the value of the rest of the products -mostly the packaged ones- included in the "Fair Prices" program remained relatively more contained (it registered 4.1% for the third consecutive month, 2.1 points below the average for the September quarter -November, prior to the agreement).
Drag for March
Also for the consultancy EcoGo, which forecasts inflation of
6.4% in February
, the greatest impact came from
food, which averaged a rise of 7.8%
and left a drag for March of 2.4 points.
In the analysis within the category, in products consumed outside the home (in restaurants or deliveries) the increase was even greater: it averaged 8.4%.
Regarding meat, both rear and front cuts were the ones with the highest increases in the month, with 22% and 18.9%, respectively.
a 19.4% rise in the price at the counters.
According to EcoGo, fruits and vegetables have also been adding volatility to the index, among the first, with an average increase of.
7.2%, the increases in citrus affected by the drought stood out.
Meanwhile, vegetables increased 8.1% and
beverages and infusions
also contributed to the rise in the index: they increased 7.8%, driven by soft drinks and alcoholic drinks.
Eco Go analysts highlight that "
the Fair Prices program was insufficient
, in a context where without a comprehensive plan and with increases in the price of meats -which seek to recover after containing the indicator during 2022-, inflation It doesn't let up."
Going forward, according to Ecolatina, there will be no shortage of factors that will continue to put pressure on food prices.
the impact of the drought
on some fresh foods and the margin for a greater transfer to the consumer of the adjustment in the prices of beef cattle.
According to the same consultant, "although Fair Prices can contribute to moderating increases in some sectors, helping to moderate inertia at the margin,
it has three major weaknesses that make it less effective."
The first is that
it applies mainly to super and hypermarkets,
but not to small self-service stores or local businesses, where households in the lowest income deciles consume to a greater extent.
Secondly, it is made up mainly of
and the possibility of reaching a broad and robust agreement for fresh food (fruits, vegetables, beef) lies in the
great fragmentation of producers
distributed throughout the country, the high rate of informality present in some links and the impact on prices of factors associated with seasonality, biological cycles and/or inclement weather.
Finally, the third weakness that EcoGo de los Precios Justos highlights is the
shortage of foreign currency,
which will make it difficult to comply with the part that is up to the Government: guarantee greater access to the exchange market, for which the risks of some agreements breaking down They are not minor, he stressed.
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