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LatinNews Daily - 15 January 2021

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In brief: Monthly inflation picks up in Argentina

* Argentina’s national statistics institute (Indec) has released the latest figures for the consumer price index (IPC), which show that monthly inflation stood at 4% in December, bringing the annual inflation rate to 36.1%. This is the highest monthly figure in 2020 and was driven by health (5.2%); recreation & culture (5.2%); and transport (4.9%). Experts consulted by Argentina’s central bank (BCRA) last month forecast inflation would close 2020 at 36.7% while Economy Minister Martín Guzmán said last month that inflation should close 20 percentage points below 2019, when it was 53.8%. However, this is still the second highest rate in the region after Venezuela and the decline owes in large part to consumer demand being hit hard by a recession made much deeper by the prolonged restrictions aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19). The 2021 national budget forecasts 29% inflation for 2021.