Argentina’s internal trade secretary ‘cannot work miracles’
Argentine Internal Trade Secretary Roberto Feletti admitted on Thursday that inflation figures for March “will be bad” following the impact of the war between Russia and Ukraine on the local economy.
“You can’t do miracles,” Feletti said. He also stressed that “price controls are not enough”, which is why additional measures will be necessary.
“The state should have more tools”, regretted Feletti. “Everything that can be done is being done, from daily monitoring to tools provided by law,” Feletti added in a radio interview.
The official explained that in the current scenario, prices can only be “controlled”.
Because of the war in Ukraine, “our task is microeconomic; it is to work on the prices and the costs of the companies.
Feletti added that “we are also fighting so that international prices, which are now very high, do not have an impact on domestic prices, especially for food inputs such as wheat, corn and sunflower”.
“To have an economy with a sustained expansion and a stable price trend, we have to do it with the accumulation of reserves in the Central Bank,” he also stressed.
If it were up to him, “wheat, sunflower and maize should have higher export duty levels.” He added that under Néstor and Cristina Kirchner (2003-2015), these taxes were “higher when international prices were lower and no one was losing money”.
Regarding a recent sharp increase in the price of bread, Feletti said that “the Argentine people must take into account that we cannot validate a wealth effect”. He also explained that “they store wheat, the product suddenly doubles or increases by 70% in dollars and the wealth effect is transferred to the bread and the population pays for it”.