Argentina's minimum wage rose 15% in one month, but is 74% lower than its Brazilian counterpart in dollars.

Argentina's minimum wage rose 15% in one month, but is 74% lower than its Brazilian counterpart in dollars.

Amid protests and strike threats from various professional groups, the Argentine government decided on Wednesday (21) increases in the monthly minimum wage for the next two months, setting it at 180,000 pesos (about 215 US dollars) in February and 202,800 pesos (242.2 US dollars). ) in March, according to official information. In January, the minimum wage was set at 156,000 pesos.

The country's Official Gazette reported that the measure was taken by presidential decree after workers and employers were unable to reach an agreement.

Considering Argentina's official dollar exchange rate, the value for the month is equivalent to US$215; For March, it was $242. However, the official exchange rate is little used by the population – who practically exchange currencies at parallel rates. In the famous “blue dollar,” the minimum wage in February is about $164 and in March it is $192.

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Since the Brazilian minimum wage for 2024 is R$1,412 (about $286 at today's exchange rate), The difference in favor of the Brazilian floor is 74%.

Economic inflation

Argentina is surrounded by protests and strike threats from various professional groups, who see their salaries losing at the current inflation rate from month to month.

Inflation in Latin America's third-largest economy, which ended 2023 at 211.4% year-on-year, increased by 20.6% in January. For February, it is expected to show a downward trend.

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The ultra-liberal government of Javier Miley expects a gradual decline in inflation in the coming months, due to a decline in public demand due to the population's loss of purchasing power, although poverty may increase.

A report by the Argentine Social Debt Observatory, affiliated with the Argentine Catholic University, revealed that the poverty rate in the country rose to 57.4% of the population in January, the highest level in at least 20 years.

The increase in the minimum wage will also be reflected in retirement, pensions and social benefits.

(With Reuters)

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