Despite the biggest trap, Argentines already spend more on travel and cards than Macri in 2019

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Like water that filters geological cracks and faults, dollar consumption in Argentina does the same, weaving its way between exchange controls and distortions. A study by consultancy Analytica shows that spending on travel, tickets and other credit card payments (mainly streaming services) is higher today than in 2019, the last year of Mauricio Macri’s economy.

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Between January and September of this year, this item shows a deficit of US $ 5,355 million according to the data of the exchange balance of the Central Bank, a figure higher than the US $ 4,857 million of 2019 measured at constant prices (discounting inflation) according to Analytics. In 2018, this figure was 8,217 million dollars (even at constant prices).

Claudio Caprarulo, economist and director of Analytica, notes the increase in distortions in another phenomenon: without taking into account card payments compared to 2019 when the consumption of streaming services was not consolidated in a basket of consumers like today, Spesa for tourism it is higher today.

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“There are even fewer Argentines who go abroad, 1.7 million this year compared to 3.1 million in 2019, yet travelers spend twice as much on tickets and expenses with tour operators: in 2019 it was $ 620 per person and now $ 1,200 “.

The explanation found by Caprarulo and Analytica in their work is the appreciation of the dollar, which is the cheapest currency in relation to the increase in prices in pesos of most of the other products of the Argentine economy. And the increase in the exchange rate gap.

“The government has tried to solve this problem with the Qatari dollar – says the economist -, and one would tend to think that beyond this adjustment and given that the Qatari dollar (324 dollars) is more expensive than the CCL ( 305 dollars), people will be more likely to use dollars under the mattress or to buy financial ones ”.

Since December 2020, when it peaked, the multilateral real exchange rate has appreciated by 29%. With China and the eurozone, a little more, while with Brazil (our main trading partner) and the United States, it was 21%.

“The appreciation of foreign exchange increases imported consumption, deteriorates the trade balance and does not necessarily resume activity at the same rate. The dollars that finance this strategy in favor of consumers come from the reserves of the Central Bank, which are increasingly being questioned, ”says the Analytica report.

The government argues that in this way it will regulate this type of consumption, in particular emissive tourism. Will you make it?

“Exchange rate pressures will return”, Caprarulo anticipates.

Macri took the title after the PASO in August 2019. He strengthened it in October, after the general elections. Since then, Kirchnerism has tightened the screws more. But not that of its price, which continued to be delayed.

In September, the central bank’s reserves increased by just $ 891 million, ending the month at a level of $ 37.625 million, the Central Bank reported Friday through its foreign exchange market report.

This was mainly because the service account recorded a deficit of $ 1,075 million “mainly explained by net expenses for travel, tickets and other card payments” and transportation and insurance expenses of $ 726 million and $ 550 million respectively. .

Source: Clarin

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