Inflation in August was 2.7 percent and accumulates 18.9 percent in the first eight months of the year. This is the second highest record in 2020, below March, which had been 3.3 percent. Food and beverages was the one that showed the highest increase and incidence, with an increase of 3.5 percent, driven mainly by seasonal products, which marked an increase of 4 percent.
On the contrary, the regulated prices category rose 1 percent and registered the smallest increase in the period, due to the fact that the freezing of public service rates continues. Thus, year-on-year inflation was 40.7 percent, according to data published this Wednesday by Indec.
Most of the increase in food and beverages is explained by increases in fruits (8.5 percent), vegetables (8.2 percent), water and soda (4 percent), coffee, tea, yerba and cocoa (3.9 percent) and meat (3.4 percent). The data correspond to the Greater Buenos Aires region.
The ten products that increased the most were onion (32 percent), still water (12.2 percent), canned tomato (11.7 percent), apple (9.8 percent), lemon (9 percent), bottled beer (6.7 percent), yogurt (6.4 percent), salami (5.1 percent), minced meat (5.1 percent) and disposable diapers (5 percent).
The item of home equipment and maintenance also had a strong rise, which, as in food, was 3.5 percent, well above the average. The same had happened last month, when it was the category that led the increases (3.9 percent in the case of July). The largest increases were seen in furniture, appliances and electronic products.
It is a division that had an increase in demand. In the composition of spending, households allocated 4.2 percent to goods related to life at home before the pandemic, and in July it went to 5.9 percent. It is an estimate made by the Center for Production Studies.
So far this year, the items that lead the largest increases are clothing and footwear (32.5 percent), recreation and culture (28.1 percent). In third place, food (22.9 percent), home equipment (20.7 percent) and restaurants and hotels (20 percent). In all cases, above the average for the first eight months of the year, of 18.9 percent. Regarding the year-on-year increases, they are also led by clothing and footwear (62.5 percent).
In August, the lowest increases were in communication (0.3 percent) and education (0.8 percent). Communication was scheduled to rise from September, but due to the decree that establishes communication services as essential, prices were frozen until 2021.
Regulated prices registered the smallest increase in the period (1 percent), due to the stability of the important items that make up this category, particularly public service rates, cell phone plans and educational services. Regarding the Core CPI, which groups together the most sensitive products of the basic basket and which are outside of direct regulation by the State, a 3 percent rise was observed in August.
So far this year, the item with the lowest increase was housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels, with 7.2 percent in the accumulated eight months. These services had been frozen until the middle of the year and then the freeze was extended until the end of the year. Only during the month there was a 4.5 percent rise in gasoline, authorized by YPF, and it was the first increase of the year.
Given that the rates had been frozen in 2019 by the government of Cambiemos ahead of the elections, the increase in the housing, electricity, gas and water category was 15.5 percent between August of this year and the same month of the previous year , 25 points less than the general year-on-year level. Meanwhile, the second item with the lowest increases so far this year was communication, with a variation of 8.3 percent.