This Thursday, March 30, the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INDEC) will disclose the total number of poor in the country registered in the second half of 2022. The data will appear simultaneously with a precipitous drop in wages and a constant increase in prices month by month.
The last number registered by the statistical institution during the first semester of last year determined that there were 17.3 million poor Argentines. This represents 36.5% of the population and marks a decrease compared to 37.3% in the last part of the year in 2021. Private studies estimate that, this Thursday, the figure could be close to 40%.
Although the data corresponds to last year, the increases that have been pushing up the prices of goods since December are conclusive. In February, the INDEC registered an increase of 8.3% ($177,063) in the Total Basic Basket, which is used to determine if a family is poor or not if it falls below that line. The number was 1.7% above 6.6% inflation.
Agustín Salvia: “The poverty rate will be close to 39%”
Regarding the Basic Food Basket, it reached $80,483, an increase of 11.7%. If a family of four has less than this number, they are considered indigent. The situation is delicate and analysts estimate that inflation in March will be higher than in the second month of the year.
What are the estimates of the number of poverty and the fall in wages
The Torcuato Di Tella University (UTDT) is one of the institutions that made estimates on the poverty numbers and came to calculate 40.2%. For the Center for Distributive, Labor and Social Studies (Cedlas), however, it will be located at 39.7%, although they stress that it could be higher.
In addition, the UTDT calculated that an adult between 30 and 60 years old needed $42,858 to reach the basic basket measured in Greater Buenos Aires. “The urban population captured by the EPH (Permanent Household Survey) In the semester from July to December 2022, it was estimated at around 29 million people, which implies that around 11.7 million live in poor urban households.”, they explained.
Added to this scenario of flying prices and meager wages are data from the Center for Research and Training of the Argentine Republic (CIFRA), belonging to the Workers’ CTA. The report says: “The purchasing power of the minimum, vital and mobile wage shows a negative trend since 2011which was particularly strong in the last two years of M. Macri’s government as well as in 2020. This drop has been even higher than the real loss of registered wages”.
They also add that between 2021 and 2022 there were seven instances of updating the SMVM that ultimately did not beat the increases. “The year 2022 closed with an average drop in the real minimum wage of 1.3%, which placed it 33% below the 2015 level,” they summarized from CIFRA.
Finally, They estimated that in April the minimum wage should be $86,048 to recover the purchasing power of December 2019. At the last meeting of the Salary Council, it was agreed that the floor would start in April at $80,342, in May at $84,512 and in June at $87,987.
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