© Reuters. A homeless person sleeps in the street, in downtown Buenos Aires, Argentina August 22, 2022. REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian/File Photo
BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Expectations for galloping consumer prices in Argentina remain solidly in triple-digit territory, a monthly analyst poll showed on Friday, though the forecast edged down slightly compared with last month’s survey.
Analysts polled by the South American country’s central bank forecast annual inflation this year at 142.4%, below the 148.9% seen in the bank’s previous poll.
Sky-high inflation has hammered Argentina’s slumping economy, as the ranks of the poor swell and the peso currency steadily weakens.
For June, the analysts polled expect prices to have risen 7.3% in the month. Monthly inflation in May clocked in at 7.8%, according to the national statistics agency.
By 2024, the analysts see the annual rate of rising consumer prices edging down to 105%.
Latin America’s third-biggest economy has also been strained by a historic drought that has worsened an ongoing currency crisis. Economic activity is expected to shrink 3% in 2023 from 2022, the survey found.
Analysts see the Argentine peso, currently officially valued at 261 pesos per U.S. dollar, ending this year at around 408 units per greenback, and 2024 at 904 pesos per dollar.
The central bank surveyed 39 participants from June 28-30.
Rising prices and tumbling foreign reserves pose an especially stiff challenge for Argentina’s left-leaning government, ahead of general elections in October.