By Katia Porzecanski
There’s a great deal of irony at play in the way this business is covering up older prices to reveal its newer, higher price. Despite the government’s best efforts to cover up official signs of inflation, the kinds of covering-up vendors do tell a different story. All over Argentina we see prices scratched out and rewritten or sheets of paper or stickers covering obsolete price tags. Some restaurant owners have even resorted to printing priceless menus.
The government says prices are up 10% from a year ago, but virtually all economists find this estimate risible. They say inflation totals about 25% annually. Economists use the word inflation when talking about rising prices, but government officials, including Economy Ministry Amado Boudou and President Cristina Fernandez, refuse to do this. Instead, they talk about an “immense dispersion of prices.”
Whatever you call it, prices are up across the board, as this photo shows.
*Katia Porzecanski is an economist and writer in Buenos Aires