They warn that the acceleration of purchases in supermarkets by the coronavirus can lead to an increase in prices

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To the rise of the dollar, of the schools and of the medicines, the pressure on the prices is now added by the acceleration of consumption by the coronavirus.

The consumer specialist Guillermo Oliveto and economists Marina Dal Poggetto, Daniel Artana Y Fausto Spotorno they claimed to Infobae that there may be a temporary increase in the consumer price index (CPI) this month.

Yesterday, President Alberto Fernández reiterated that the Government will take care that businesses do not exaggeratedly increase prices or cause shortages in sensitive products at this juncture, such as gel alcohol. In this regard, he recalled that the Ministry of Productive Development ordered to roll back prices to last month and clarified that the Ministry of Internal Trade will monitor compliance with this official decision. On the other hand, he said that today a decision will be made regarding the temporary closure of some of these businesses to avoid further contagion of the coronavirus. “One thing is shopping and another is the local business. One thing is the mega supermarket and another thing is the neighborhood market. We are seeking to avoid the crowding of people and in shopping malls that problem exists, “explained the President.

Regarding the increase in prices, Dal Poggetto indicated that “throughout the world there will be an inflation of goods due to a greater shortage of supply and Argentina will not escape this phenomenon”. This phenomenon will be reflected in an increase in prices, which has a much greater weight in a country with inflation of 50 percent per year.

Meanwhile, the head of the consulting firm W said that the advance of consumption in supermarkets “was foreseeable, because Argentine society has a particular sensitivity to reactions that in the knowledge economy are called herds.”

It usually happens “when there is a dollar surge or when after the primary elections the banks were filled with people who went to get their dollars. It is a deeply rooted behavior in our society, more than in other countries, due to the experiences we have in the past“, Indicated.

Oliveto clarified that this behavior “serves so much so as not to miss an opportunity, such as when the dollar is cheap and tourists want to take advantage as soon as possible to travel abroad or when the Lebac was seen as a great investment, as well as to rush to avoid suffering a prejudice as in the case of dollar deposits ”.

Regarding the transfer to prices of this accelerated consumption, he said that “we have to see how the phenomenon is evolving, but in principle in January we were seeing a year-on-year drop in mass consumption of 4 percent year-on-year”.

Companies were at a very low level of installed capacity use, so they don’t necessarily have to go at prices. I think that it is the great opportunity for companies to meet the consumer market again, something that this year they were looking to do on the side of the increase in volume, ”he explained.

The specialist said that “it’s a more emotional than rational responseBecause Argentina is not yet in a situation similar to that of other countries when it comes to the spread of the epidemic. “

“It seems more like a preventive reaction, which is also very heterogeneous; in principle, the situation of stock and installed capacity is comfortable, but precisely with those experiences in other countries, what the consumer may be doing is getting ahead of that possibility, “he added.

Meanwhile, Artana maintained that “there could perfectly be an increase in the index, but temporarily, because people cannot stock indefinitely. Anyway, it is possible that it influences the price index of this month ”.

Fausto Spotorno, director of the Ferreres studio, He maintained that these compulsive purchases are unlikely to influence the result of the CPI for March, although he warned that this month the result will approach 3% due to the increase in the dollar., plus seasonal increases, such as education, plus that of medicines.

According to the IPC prepared by the Ferreres study, “the preliminary inflation figure for March (average for the first week of the month versus the four-week average for the previous month) was 3.1% per month, while core inflation registered a variation of 1.6% ”.

In addition, they explained, “the average measurement of the first week of the month against the first of February showed an increase of 4.1%. On the other hand, headline inflation for the first week of the month was 1.9% and in the core measurement the variation was 0.8% ”.

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