The 3.8% increase in the price of gasoline that began to apply this Thursday at service stations adds pressure to inflation, which is already accumulating 102.5% year-on-year. This figure was reached after learning of the price increase in February, which rose to an unusual 6.6%.
This change was in addition to the 4% that oil companies had adjusted their fuels on Feb. 16 They add more points to March inflation, which economists estimate will rise close to 7% and leave a damper in April.
According to EcoGo’s consultant economist, Sebastian Menescaldi, “the average increase between the two increases is 3.9%. And since the weight in the consumer price index (CPI) measured by the INDEC is 5.8%, the inflation impact for March is 0.23 percentage points,” accurate. (This increase is due to the month’s rise and February’s drag).
The decision by the oil companies to apply the pump increases is part of the agreement reached with the Government, at the end of last year, according to which the fuels are part of the Fair Prices program. For this reason they were enabled to grow by 3.8% in March.
The companies had applied the first increase under this understanding in early December and since January they have agreed that the planned increase should be applied from the 15th of each month to avoid a greater inflationary impact.
The latest increases have been applied the next day the February inflation was known. In justifying the hikes, YPF stressed that “this adjustment helps offset the change in the official exchange rate, higher logistics and operational costs, and rising biofuel prices,” the oil company said. The same path has been followed by Shell and the rest of the market. Regard third fuel increase in the year and fourth which is applied as part of the agreement with the Government.
The fuel hike will be one more among other hikes expected this seasonally inflationary month. In this period, increases were also recorded for Transport, Education, Clothing and other private schools (16.4%); prepaid (between 5% and 7.7% depending on income); subway fares (38%); trains and buses (6%), and water and gas and taxi fares (30%).
Despite the effort that users are making to recharge their vehicles, according to the oil companies, this latest price increase “is not enough”. For this they will meet again with the Ministry of Energy to outline the remaining increases for the full year 2023. In 2022, the oil companies have ordered seven hikes.
According to official statistics, the item comprising the costs of Housing, water, electricity, gas and other services of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), increased by 4.8% in February and accumulates an interannual change of 95.2%, i.e. below general inflation.
According to the new values that regulate YPF service stations, the average price of premium gasoline in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires (CABA) has increased from $163.10 to $169.30. Meanwhile, premium gasoline increased from $209.10 to $217, 500 diesel increased from $175.10 to $181.80, and Infinia diesel increased from $250.50 to $259.90.
In the rest of the country the price disparity is greater. There are gaps of up to 15% between outlets in different parts of the country, however the percentage increase – agreed with officials – is similar in all cases.
Charles Arterburn is a seasoned business journalist for News Rebeat, where he provides comprehensive coverage of the latest trends and developments in the world of finance and economics.