The rise of the official dollar is going to pierce the 3% floor in February. In this way, the BCRA will seek, at the same time, to lower the floor of nominality in general, and of inflation in particular. In the first three weeks of the month, the rhythm of crawling peg it was around 0.7%. And although it is a short month, it will be the first time since October that this imaginary barrier has been lowered. Inflation, on the other hand, will close above 3%.
The month started with a 0.8% increase in the dollar and the intention of looking for a devaluation 3%. However, in the second week it slowed even more, it went to a rise of 0.6%. In the third the crawling peg was at a rate of 0.7%. If that time continues in the fourth week, February will close with a 2.8% increase in the dollar. Similar to those of October and September.
In addition, this rate will be well below what happened in the November-December-January quarter, although it should be noted that inflation will also be somewhat below the levels of that period. Even so, the emphasis placed on anchoring expectations through the dollar price, since the exchange delay of the month will be greater than those of the previous months.
In this sense, it should be noted that the rise in the dollar was 3.8% in November. During that month the inflation of consumer prices It was 3.2%, so the dollar rose 0.6% in real terms. In December the increase in the currency was 3.5%. The retail inflation was 4%. Therefore, in real terms it was a fall of 5%. During January the dollar climbed 3.7% and the CPI repeated 4%. A real contraction of 0.3%.
If the projection of a retail inflation of 3.6% is fulfilled, reflected in the last Market Expectations Survey (REM), the survey that the BCRA conducts among analysts in the city every month, with a jump in the dollar of « just » 2.8%, the delay will be 0.8%.
Until now, the great problem that the nominal dynamics had been showing was the escalation that had been shown in parallel in the main relative prices (except for rates and wages, for now). One took a leap and generated the accompaniment of the rest, with retail inflation, wholesale inflation, the dollar and the interest rate, all above 3%. The monetary policy rate, barely, since it is still 3.1% (that of fixed terms, 3%). The BCRA, in order not to feed expectations, decided not to react with a rise in the interest rate. And now it seeks to lower the dynamics of increases in the dollar.
The consultantLCG highlights that the month is shorter and points out that the dollar’s rhythm is possibly 3.1%, which continues to imply a slowdown in the crawling peg. In this regard, they pointed out: « It is possible that it responds to the prospect of a slowdown, in the margin, of inflation during this month, but it is also to be expected that it will be the first step towards a policy of delaying the official dollar using it as nominal anchor« .
And they added: « We believe that the ´veranito´ that the Peso is passing should not be understood as permanent. It is based on a combination of factors that influence at the moment but do not correct the underlying problems: dollarization previous large part of the stocks, lower flows, lower injection of weights in January, and the ironclad intervention of the BCRA and ANSES selling titles at the expense of reserves « .
For what is to come, they also projected calm in the short-medium term but a continuity of problems at a structural level that leaves questions at the level of expectations: « The greater seasonal supply of exporters may add some relief until the middle of the year, but the delay in the official dollar as an anti-inflationary policy, the issuance to finance the fiscal deficit and the inherent instability that the elections, they will be able to press again on the free dollars to the extent that the devaluation expectations intensify. «
There is a coincidence in something: inflation will not be able to pierce the floor of 3% in February. The rate will remain at those levels. The signs that the month has been showing seem to indicate that the dollar will pierce it.