Argentina Monthly Inflation Cooled for Fourth Straight Month

(Bloomberg) -- Monthly inflation in Argentina slowed in April for the fourth straight month, dropping into single-digit territory for the first time in Javier Milei’s presidency.

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Consumer prices in April rose 8.8% in April from March, in line with economists’ expectations. From a year ago, inflation accelerated a notch to 289.4%, according to government data published Tuesday.

Utilities, communication and clothing categories posted the largest monthly price increases.

Milei’s shock-therapy economic plan continues to tame inflation at the cost of a deepening recession that could provoke higher unemployment. Argentina’s central bank has consistently cut interest rates in recent months in an effort to end money printing that was a result of high interest payments owed to banks and other institutions stockpiling into the monetary authority’s one-day notes.

While Milei has achieved monthly fiscal surpluses, he’s cut almost all federal funding to public works projects and slashed spending on social security, public sector wages and other programs. Construction and manufacturing employers surveyed by the government expect to fire more workers than they hire in the second quarter.

Economists polled by the central bank see the economy contracting 3.5% this year.

--With assistance from Rafael Gayol.

(Updates to add annual inflation chart)

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