Argentina Says May 12-Month CPI Rose To 9.9% In May
06/13/2012| 03:51pm US/Eastern
Consumer Price Index (month-on-month):
May Apr Mar Feb May/11 FY/2011
Forecast*: +0.7% +1.0% +1.2% +0.8% +0.8% --
Actual: +0.8% +0.8% +0.9% +0.7% +0.7% +9.5%
(*Estimates of official data, which most analysts say under-report actual inflation.)
By Ken Parks
BUENOS AIRES--Argentina's government said Wednesday that annual inflation rose to 9.9% in May, though most private sector estimates are more than double the official figure.
The national statistics agency, Indec, said inflation as measured by its consumer price index rose 0.8% in May from the previous month.
That pushed the 12-month CPI up to 9.9% from 9.8% in April.
Indec was expected to report a 0.7% month-on-month gain in its CPI from April, according to the median estimate of more than 50 banks, economic research firms and universities surveyed by the Central Bank of Argentina.
Indec's economic data have been heavily criticized since a purge at the agency in early 2007 saw long serving civil servants replaced by political appointees.
Opposition congressmen on Monday released their monthly survey of inflation forecasts provided by anonymous private-sector research firms that fear persecution from the government for challenging Indec's CPI numbers.
Consumer prices rose 1.71% on the month in May and were up 23.85% from May 2011, according to the average estimate of contributors.
A recent survey by local pollster Management & Fit found that inflation ranked second behind unemployment as the top economic concern among Argentines.
In a worrisome sign, inflation expectations remain high even as the economy shows signs of dramatically slowing this year from the 8.9% expansion posted in 2011.
Argentina's 12-month inflation expectations held steady at 30% for a third-consecutive month in a closely followed monthly survey published in May by the Torcuato Di Tella University.
Write to Ken Parks at firstname.lastname@example.org
--Alberto Messer contributed to this article.