News: Argentina inflation sluggish

Tue, 11 Sep 07

Inflation in Argentina was sluggish in June as it remained at a lower than expected level...

The final figure of was 0.4 percent – the same as in May, the national statistics bureau revealed.

The consumer price index rose 0.4 percent in May and 0.5 percent in June 2006.

Argentina's inflation figures have been under scrutiny from analysts, economists and opposition leaders since January, when the government replaced the head of the national statistic institute's price unit with someone seen as a political ally.

The move was followed by several inflation readings that came in lower than market expectations, fueling criticism that methodological changes were implemented to keep the official figures low in an election year.

Argentina will hold presidential elections on Oct. 28, and the wife of President Nestor Kirchner is the front-runner in the race.

The INDEC statistics office reported that household goods prices rose 0.8 percent in June as the prices of cleaning supplies and furniture climbed.

Entertainment prices rose 0.7 percent, followed by a 0.6 percent rise in education costs, INDEC said.

Prices for food and beverages, which weigh heavily on the consumer price index, edged up 0.2 percent.

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