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Fri Apr 22, 2016, 09:46 PM

Consumer confidence in Argentina plunges 18% from same time last year.

Following massive layoffs and rising inflation figures, consumer confidence in Argentina dropped by another 10.3% in April, and 18.3% compared to the same month last year according to the report published monthly by Torcuato Di Tella University Business School's Financial Research Center (CIF).

The negative outlook was shared broadly across income strata, with confidence declining 10% for those earning below the median (15,700 pesos, or $1,100) and 9.2% for those earning more. There were sharper regional differences, however, with confidence plunging 11.9% in the Greater Buenos Aires area, 11.7% in the country’s provinces, and just 2.5% in the city of Buenos Aires.

Confidence dropped furthest for purchasing durable goods (18.2%) and real estate (7.2%); the durable goods index in particular has plummeted by 60% since November. Confidence in the future of the country’s economy dropped 7.7%, and 11.8% in respondents' own financial situation. 60% of those surveyed still expect their personal finances to improve over the next year (down from 66% in March); but 66% admitted it had worsened from a year earlier (up from 60% in March).

Consumer sentiment has fallen by 28.4% since November 2015, the month before President Mauricio Macri took office. Higher inflation was mostly to blame for the souring mood according to the report, followed by the impact of 127,000 job losses since January.

Prices in Buenos Aires, the recommended index by the national government in the absence of official data under Macri, rose 3.3% in March - accumulating a 11.9% hike on the first three months of the year. The government’s stated goal is to keep inflation below 25% this year; market and labor analysts, however, now believe it will be unlikely to be less than 50%.

At: http://buenosairesherald.com/article/213056/consumer-confidence-plunges-18

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