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SURVEY: Argentina's CPI Seen Rising 0.7% In August

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Consumer Price Index (month-on-month): 
 
              Aug  Jul   June  May   Apr   Aug'11 FY2011 
   Forecast*  +0.7 +0.8% +0.8% +0.7% +1.0% +0.8%    -- 
   Reported    --  +0.8% +0.7% +0.8% +0.8% +0.8%   +9.5% 
 
(*Estimates of official data, which most analysts say underreport actual inflation.) 
 

BUENOS AIRES--Argentina's government is expected to report that consumer prices rose 0.7% on the month in August, even though the vast bulk of economists say the true rate is more than double that.

The month-on-month forecast comes from the median estimate of more than 50 banks, economic research firms and universities surveyed by the Central Bank of Argentina.

But the number reflects what economists think the government will report, not what they think inflation really was in August.

The national statistics agency, Indec, is scheduled to release its price report on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. EDT.

Indec's economic data have been suspect ever since a staff shake-up at the agency in early 2007 saw long-serving civil servants replaced by political appointees.

Last year, President Cristina Kirchner's government levied heavy fines, and in some cases criminal charges, against numerous economists for publishing inflation estimates that were higher than what Indec reports.

On Monday, opposition congressmen released a monthly survey of inflation forecasts provided by anonymous private sector research firms.

Consumer prices rose 1.9% on the month in August, and were up 24.3% on the year, according to the average estimate of 12 anonymous contributors. The contributors are unnamed to protect them from government persecution.

The average forecast in the central bank's survey for the month-on-month rise in Indec's CPI was 1.1%.

The Kirchner administration has made economic growth its No. 1 priority even though inflation causes increasingly serious distortions throughout the economy.

But businesses are under constant pressure from rising materials costs and double-digit wage increases won by the country's heavily unionized workforce.

Earlier this month, a survey published by Torcuato Di Tella University revealed that people's expectations for inflation over the next 12 months held steady at 30%.

 

Write to Taos Turner at taos.turner@dowjones.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 10, 2012 17:35 ET (21:35 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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