Argentina inflation soars past 100% mark

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Argentina’s inflation rate has soared past 100% for the first time since the end of hyperinflation in the early 90s.

Inflation hit 102.5% in February, the country’s statistics agency said, meaning the price of many consumer goods has more than doubled since 2022.

Argentina has been in economic difficulty for years, and many people now live in poverty.

Its government has been trying to stem price rises by capping the prices of food and other products.

But the food and drink sectors saw the most dramatic recent increase, with prices growing by 9.8% in February compared to January.

Argentinian media said that this increase could partly be due to a sharp hike in the price of meat, which rose by almost 20% in the space of a month. Adverse weather conditions, a prolonged heatwave and a drought seriously impacted livestock and crops, said local news outlet Ambito.

Although the symbolism of the inflation rate shooting up past 100% is striking, the effects of soaring inflation have long been felt in Argentina.

Last September, protesters took to the streets to demand action to counter rising costs of living, and, in February, Argentina’s central bank said that a new 2,000-peso (£8.13; $9.9) banknote would be issued in response to the jump in consumer prices.

The Argentinian government has long tried to contain inflation, but divisions have marred the country’s economic policy.

Last summer, three economy ministers succeeded one another in the space of four weeks as the country’s economic crisis deepened, and President Alberto Fernández is said to be at odds with his deputy, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, over how to tackle Argentina’s economic problems.

In December, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved another $6bn (£4.9bn) of bailout money.

It was the latest payout for Argentina in a 30-month programme that is expected to reach a total of $44bn.

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