Argentina ends 2018 with second highest inflation in Latin America

16th January, 2019 09:36:54 printer

BUENOS AIRES: Argentina ended 2018 with the second-highest inflation figure in Latin America, behind only crisis-wracked Venezuela, the national statistics institute said on Tuesday.

Argentina's inflation rate of 47 per cent was also the highest the country recorded since 1991, when inflation hit 84 per cent as lawmakers fixed the peso to the dollar, reports agencies.

"Clearly, Argentina is amongst the five countries with the highest inflation," Martin Vauthier from Eco Go consultants told AFP.

"It's very high. Argentina is a surprising case of a society that is used to living with inflation.

"Inflation hasn't been a problem in the world for several years, neither in developed nor emerging countries."

Argentina was hit by two major currency crashes in 2018 that saw the peso lose 50 per cent of its value against the dollar. Last month, the country went into recession.

These economic woes forced President Mauricio Macri to head to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) with his begging bowl, securing a US$56 billion bailout loan.

To do so, he was forced into announcing unpopular austerity measures. The IMF expects Argentina's gross domestic product to drop by 2.6 per cent for 2018 and another 1.6 per cent in 2019.