For seven years, the government has systematically underestimated inflation and thus overestimated economic growth, critics say. Even close government allies don't believe the old data anymore, demanding 2014 pay raises of more than 30 percent to keep up with inflation officially estimated at just 10 percent a year.
The new index was designed in consultation with the
If the new index's first monthly inflation report Thursday afternoon recognizes true living costs, President
"This is the government's silver bullet to begin to take a more rational path and combat this evil," Carugati told The Associated Press.
If the new report acknowledges
The old index almost always reported monthly inflation at less than 1 percent, even as Argentine shoppers watched their grocery prices double and triple since 2007, when political appointees changed the methodology of the
The latest estimate from private economists, published Wednesday by minority lawmakers in
The new index will track prices on a basket of 520 goods and services, including food, drinks, clothing, housing, appliances, health care, transportation, communication, recreation and education. Unlike the old one, which measured prices in metropolitan
To be trustworthy, the index needs to be based on "the prices of the majority of stores, where people shop the most," Sica added, warning that the changes will be useless if the government gets its data from price-controlled products at places few Argentines have access to.
"Will it be scientific enough to appease the concerns from the IMF?" asked
"What the world wants to see is some certainty of how prices are measured," Bernal told the AP. "The whole point is that index needs to be credible. If nobody knows what the hell is being calculated it will be the stupidest thing ever. All the back and forth with IMF would be lost."
Associated Press Writers
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