Argentina inflation 103% = Interest rates 78%

The Argentinian central bank has continued its tightening cycle with 300 (3%) basis point increase in interest rates to 78%. Even with such high interest rates inflation has accelerated as basic food items such as grains and meat have increased mainly due to the drought that is affecting the country – CPI 103%. But such high rates are necessary to avoid a big outflow of the currency (Peso) as Argentinians look to the safety of the US dollar and therefore exchange their Pesos for US dollars. This would lead to a collapse of the Peso and a loss of confidence in the Argentinian economy.

The major worry about the inflation is that it has been so prevalent over the last five years that there is strong inflationary expectations. This causes consumers to buy now, rather than later when goods and services are more expensive – AD shifts to the right causing further increases in prices. It is essential for central banks to maintain a stated target for inflation – RBNZ 1-3% – as this leads to greater confidence in the economy and especially in the banking sector. New Zealand was one of the first countries to adopt inflation targeting in1990.

Trust. Ultimately the trust in the central bank meeting their inflation target is important to businesses and households as they plan for future expenses etc. Expectations are anchored around these targets and essential for consumer and producer confidence and ultimately growth. It is imperative that central banks need to be able to build up trust and institutional creditability.

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