Argentina inflation slows for a 2nd month as President Milei keeps pushing austerity measures

FILE - Argentine President Javier Milei leaves an event in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Jan. 26, 2024. The organization Human Rights Watch warned, Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, that the security policies adopted by Milei and his confrontation with the opposition in Congress pose a risk to democracy and human rights in Argentina. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko, File)

FILE – Argentine President Javier Milei leaves an event in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Jan. 26, 2024. The organization Human Rights Watch warned, Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, that the security policies adopted by Milei and his confrontation with the opposition in Congress pose a risk to democracy and human rights in Argentina. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko, File)

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina’s inflation slowed in February for a second consecutive month, as right-wing President Javier Milei continues to push austerity and deregulation measures in an effort to revive the country’s struggling economy.

According to figures released Tuesday by the government’s INDEC statistics agency, Argentina’s monthly inflation slowed down to 13.2% in February, compared to 20.6% in January and 25.5% in December. On a yearly basis, however, inflation remains the highest in three decades, topping 276.2% in February.

Government officials and analysts foresee a surge in prices in March due to a combination of increases in the price of energy, fuel, private education and medical services, among others.

Milei’s government said in a statement that February’s inflation rate was the result of a “strong fiscal discipline.”

A self-described anarcho-capitalist, Milei assumed power in December and almost immediately announced a series of shock measures, including a 50% devaluation of the nation’s currency in hopes of eventually bringing the country’s roaring inflation under control.

As part of those measures, the government eliminated some state subsidies in energy and transport.

Milei has announced a painful adjustment plan aimed at staving off hyperinflation and warned that the measures would initially have a “negative impact on the level of activity, employment, real wages, and the number of poor and indigent people.”

It is estimated that around 40% of the population live in poverty.

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