Argentina inflation
Economists surveyed by Argentina’s central bank see inflation reaching 100% by the end of this year. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Buenos Aires: Argentina’s annual inflation surged to a new 30-year high in September as policymakers struggle to tame some of the world’s fastest consumer price increases.

Consumers prices in South America’s second-largest nation rose 83 per cent from a year ago, according to government data published Friday. That rise was below the current 83.45 per cent level in Turkey. Monthly inflation stood at 6.2 per cent, below economists’ estimates for a 6.7 per cent increase.

“This is the second consecutive month that we’ve managed to reduce inflation, but it’s a number that doesn’t yet satisfy me,” Economy Minister Sergio Massa said on the sidelines of an event in Washington DC. “Our obsession has to be to work every month to continue on this descending path.”

Investors see Argentina’s government lacking a credible strategy to anchor both prices and the currency, which is down 32 per cent so far this year, the most in Latin America, despite a cobweb of controls.

Instead, President Alberto Fernandez has opted for a mix of traditional and unconventional steps. His administration has implemented temporary price freezes, currency controls and import restrictions. It recently imposed new taxes on travel abroad with the World Cup in Qatar next month and for concerts, piling up a list of informal exchange rates.