Argentina 2019 inflation forecast jumps to 36 percent: central bank poll

FILE PHOTO: Employees work at industrial manufacturing company Gottert in Garin, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, Argentina November 1, 2018. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Economists have raised their forecast for Argentina’s 2019 inflation rate to 36 percent from a previous estimate of 31.9 percent, according to the median forecast in the central bank’s monthly poll of analysts released on Wednesday.

The median forecast for Argentina’s expected 2019 economic contraction was 1.2 percent compared with a previous estimate of 1.3 percent, according to the survey of 55 economists.

Economic turmoil in Argentina has left nearly a third of the country in poverty, pushed interest rates skyward and sent the peso tumbling in value against the dollar.

Inflation increased nearly 50 percent in 2018, driven by a run on the local peso currency.

President Mauricio Macri, who is running for reelection this year, must now balance the mounting hardships faced by Argentines with the need to enforce austerity as part of a $56.3 billion financing deal struck with the International Monetary Fund last year.

Reporting by Eliana Raszewski, writing by Dave Sherwood; editing by Diane Craft