On March 30, INDEC will release the poverty record corresponding to the second semester of 2022. The last known data, from June last year, was 36.5%.
poverty in democracy
" In percentage
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INDEC (1988 to 2006 and 2016 to 2018) UCA (2007 to 2015) |
* After the resignation of De la Rúa , Ramón Puerta, Alberto Rodríguez Saa and Eduardo Camaño
took over .
Analysts anticipate that the data that we will know in ten days
will be around 40%
, a jump that is explained by the escalation of inflation, which closed last year with a rise of 94.8%.
But at the same time they warn that it is an "old" data: with February inflation at 6.6% and an increase in the total basic basket -the poverty line- of 8.3% and in the food basket , which measures indigence, at 11.7% in that month,
poverty in Argentina is already around 42%.
The record of 42% is a turning point for the Frente de Todos.
So far in the management of Alberto Fernández, the highest record was that of the second half of 2020, with 42%, when the pandemic made the index jump to the highest records since 2003.
Since that data of 42% in 2020, all the measurements have shown a drop in poverty.
that trend would be cut in the report that comes as a consequence of the collapse of real wages.
Data from the FMyA consultancy indicate that in February
the minimum wage represented only 38% of the Total Basic Basket for a typical family
, which stood at $177,063.
"In March it will be an even smaller proportion. When Alberto Fernández took office, it represented 43%."
Martín Rozada, director of the master's degree in Econometrics at the Di Tella University, carries out the poverty Nowcast, a measurement based on the INDEC Permanent Household Survey (EPH) together with projections of the total basic food basket (CBT) and the deciles of total family income.
"We have an estimate of the poverty rate of 38% in the third quarter of last year. In the fourth quarter the basic basket already had a year-on-year jump of 97%, while income grew less than 90%. That is why we expect
that The rates for the second semester are close to 39.6% in the INDEC measurement
," says Rozada.
But Rozada goes one step further and details that the NowCast for the period September 2022 to February 2023
places poverty at 42%.
"My impression is that the number that INDEC is going to give in a couple of weeks
is the poverty floor that we are going to observe during 2023.
Thus, this administration would tend to end with a poverty rate higher than that of the pandemic."
Is there a chance that poverty will drop in the remainder of the year?
Everything that can be done in this electoral year is palliative,
it will not affect the level of poverty too much. To reduce poverty you have to control inflation and to have a substantial drop you have to grow for many years," says Rozado .
None of that would come true this year: private sector forecasts already point to inflation beyond 100%, while the economy has been slowing down since September, with high chances of entering a recession in the coming months.
Agustín Salvia, from the UCA Social Debt Observatory, assures that this quarter leaves "
some very dramatic data on the evolution of the basket
And he explains that the situation worsened compared to last year.
"Until the second half of 2022, formal wages followed inflation. And in the informal sector there was an increase in employment, which offset the fall in real wages."
Regarding the next poverty data, Salvia marks that it will give around 40%.
"At this moment there is no more employment to compensate for a drop in real wages.
I estimate that there will be an increase in poverty and extreme poverty
However, for Salvia, poverty will not return to the level of the pandemic.
"It can go up one or two points more than the current 40%.
The trend is to increase poverty, but not to overflowing
poverty today is above 40%
," agrees Leopoldo Tornaroli, Senior Researcher at the Center for Distributive, Labor and Social Studies (CEDLAS) of the National University of La Plata (UNLP).
Tornaroli points out that this year the increase in food baskets will be above inflation and will not be able to compensate for the drop in real income with more employment.
"If inflation reaches 100%, it is not likely that poverty will go down."
The CEDLAS researcher notes that with these levels of inflation, official policies lose effectiveness.
"Poverty and indigence are lower with the Universal Child Allowance (AUH) than they would be if the allowance were not there. But they may lose with inflation and their role as a poverty alleviation policy loses effectiveness."
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