Amidst Argentina's economic upheaval, where inflation has surged to unprecedented heights, citizens are turning to conventional measures to make ends meet. With inflation exceeding 140% (https://tradingeconomics.com/argentina/inflation-cpi), many seek solace in second-hand clothing markets, where they can find affordable apparel and opportunities to sell their old garments for extra income.
Once a South American powerhouse, Argentina grapples with its most severe crisis in decades. A staggering two-fifths of the population now lives in poverty, and an impending recession casts a shadow over the upcoming presidential election.
The surge in voter frustration is fueling support for Javier Milei, a radical outsider and the current frontrunner in polls for the presidential election. His rival, Economy Minister Sergio Massa, representing the ruling Peronist coalition, struggles to gain traction due to his inability to curb the rising prices that have left citizens financially strained.
Aylen Chiclana, a 22-year-old student in Buenos Aires, paints a vivid picture of the impact of soaring prices: "Today, prices are unthinkable. You can't just go to the mall and buy something you like as you did before." Even essential items like new jeans now cost more than double the price from just a year ago, representing over one-third of Argentina's monthly minimum wage.
Official data reveals the gravity of the situation, with annualized inflation reaching a staggering 142.7% in October. Although the monthly rise has slightly decreased from peaks in previous months, the figures remain alarming and fall below analyst forecasts.
For many Argentines, the struggle is real. Beatriz Lauricio, a 62-year-old semi-retired teacher, and her husband, a bus company employee, attend weekend clothing fairs to sell old garments and make ends meet. This is not a choice for luxury but a daily necessity to navigate the challenging economic climate.
María Silvina Perasso, the organizer of a clothing fair in Tigre, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, notes that people flock to these markets because prices have outpaced salaries. The local monthly minimum wage, officially at 132,000 pesos, is only half that at actual street rates due to capital controls.
"With the economy the way it is, they buy clothes at 5% or 10% of the value that comes from a store, and they can buy things for their families," says Perasso.
The situation extends beyond clothing markets. In a landfill in Lujan, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, individuals like Sergio Omar, 41, spend their days scavenging for recyclables to sell. Rising food prices have made it increasingly difficult for him to provide for his family of five.
As Argentina faces one of its most challenging periods, citizens resort to conventional means to navigate the economic crisis. From second-hand clothing markets to landfill scavenging, these stories underscore the harsh realities of a nation grappling with unprecedented inflation and economic uncertainty.
Addressing inflation in a country involves various economic policies and strategic measures. Here are some commonly used ways by governments to control inflation:
Money Supply Control:
Wage and Price Policies:
Education and Communication:
It's important to note that each country has unique economic conditions, and effective strategies can vary. Therefore, a combination of several policies is often required to achieve optimal inflation control.