The inflation accumulated 50.9% in 2021. The data surpassed the 2020 record by 14.8 points and it was just 2.9 points below the 2019 peak, which closed at 53.8%.
The Government argued that the rise was fundamentally driven by the international rise in food prices and highlighted that all the countries of the world saw an acceleration in prices.
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In response, this Thursday the new stage of Care Prices was made official. Thus, the agreement strategy that was insufficient in 2021 is reissued. In total, there were 5 freezes that were not enough to curb inflation last year.
Joint at 30%
The year 2021 had begun with the bet of Martin Guzman for a “price and salary agreement” in the 30% zone. Several unions showed good will and closed their salary guidelines along these lines.
However, when prices rose and in the middle of the pre-election season, the unions began to pressure to reopen the parity and the Government had no choice but to accept it. Several unions managed additional increases.
with different stages, Prices Care It worked throughout the year. It included a strict freeze in the last quarter of the year, which doubled the number of affected products.
This program, available in supermarkets, was combined with the launch of “Super Cerca”, which represented the exit of the Maximum Prices that had been set during 2020.
In this case, it was another price agreement, although with somewhat higher values, which was in force until the end of the year in self-services and nearby shops.
There was also a punctual agreement to freeze the price of flour and bread in the last two weeks of the year.
Meat cuts at popular prices
It also worked intermittently for the past year. In general, it included 8 cuts at frozen prices in supermarkets, which were added to another two that were already part of Care Prices.
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At certain times of the year, the deals were available on certain days of the week; in others, they were extended to every day. In the days before the Holidays, the offer of cuts at popular prices was also reinforced.
The great drawback of this initiative was that, in most cases, it did not reach the butcher shops, which are the main retail outlets.
Unlike what happened during Mauricio Macri’s administration, when the rates were updated strongly, in 2021 the prices of public services they hardly moved.
After several internal between the Minister of Economy and the secretaries of the areas, last year electricity only rose 9% for residential users and gas was only updated 6%.
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Maintaining public services with updates lower than the rise in the general price level seeks to prevent increases in other prices from being generated. By 2022, the Government has already announced average increases of 20%.
Like tariffs, exchange rate fluctuations add fuel to inflation. In 2019, it was one of the fundamental factors to explain the spike in prices.
In 2021, on the other hand, the dollar increased less than inflation. From end to end of the year, the wholesale exchange rate advanced 22.1% and the retailer barely moved 20.7%, that is, below inflation and the blue, which rose 25.3%.
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The rate of depreciation of the peso, which had been 3.74% in January, decreased to 1% in November. Although in December it accelerated to 1.8%, from GMA Capital calculated that the official exchange rate was 18% behind in real terms.
In the last part of the year, with Roberto Feletti in charge of the Ministry of Commerce, the Government also agreed with the laboratories to freeze the medicines.
The Values went back to November 1 and remained fixed until January 7. Upon expiration, the sector switched to a “reference price” scheme for 85 drugs, which is valid until the end of the month and will be updated monthly.