In 2022, local food inflation averaged 5.7% per month, while in a sample of 10 Latin American countries it stood at 1.0%. Local inflation was 5.7 times higher than inflation in the region.
At the start of 2023, local inflation stood at 6.8%, while the region registered 0.9%. Note that in this first month of the year the rate gap increased, with local inflation being 7.7 times higher than that of the region; This difference in levels becomes more striking when compared with some countries, for instance it reaches 13.0 times when measured against Brazil, 10.1 times against Peru and 9.3 times in relation to Bolivia.
A second relevant observation, as or more worrisome than the previous one, has to do with what the inflation index for the last month implies in dynamic terms. While a slight decrease in food inflation is observed in LATAM, which extends to practically all countries (with the exception of Colombia and Uruguay), the same is not verified in the case of Argentina, where there has been a significant acceleration in inflation. same. Indeed, as mentioned, in LATAM inflation averaged 1.0% per month in 2022, falling slightly to 0.9% in January 2023, that is, from an annualized rate that was close to 13%, it has passed at a rate of 11%; On the contrary, in Argentina the average rate has risen from 5.7% to 6.8% per month, from an annualized rate of 94.5% to another of 120.2%.
In the control of inflation in food that is observed in LATAM, in addition to the efforts in terms of fiscal and monetary policy that governments may be making (an issue that has not been highlighted in this report), the great stability of several of the region’s currencies (with nominal revaluation in most cases) and the deflation of international prices of agricultural raw materials and basic food products, which began in April 2022 and has accumulated a 17.2% drop since then. .
See the full report on: Juan Manuel Garzón and Tobías Lucero – Food prices in LATAM.