* Government inflation data discredited since 2007
* Latin America's No. 3 economy is quickly losing steam
BUENOS AIRES Aug 10 Argentina on Friday
reported July consumer inflation of 0.8 percent,
inching up from June's official rate but falling far below the
1.8 percent increase estimated by private economists in a
The government's inflation figures have been discredited
since 2007 as too low to reflect true price growth. Private
estimates tend to double or even triple the official number.
Latin America's No. 3 economy is quickly losing steam after
growing at China-like rates for most of the last nine years, but
high price rises are entrenched and annual inflation
expectations hold at 30 percent, private data shows.
The INDEC statistics agency said 12-month inflation through
July was 9.9 percent, unchanged from a month earlier but far
below the 20 percent to 25 percent rate estimated by independent
Analysts say strong state spending, loose monetary policy
and big wage hikes mean inflation is unlikely to ease much.
INDEC said the biggest price gain in July was seen in the
"other goods and services" category, which jumped 3.9 percent.
The category includes products such as shampoo, diapers and hair
dye as well as notary, burial and barbershop services.
Leisure costs rose 1.7 percent, while household goods were
up 1.1 percent.
Costs in the heavily weighted food-and-drink sector climbed
0.6 percent last month, compared with 0.9 percent in June, when
overall inflation was reported at 0.7 percent.