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Argentine government cracks down on economic consultancies

One of Argentina’s leading economic consultancies says it will defy a government crackdown on agencies that disseminate independent inflation figures.

At the start of July, the country’s interior minister, Guillermo Moreno, fined Orlando Ferreres & Associados – one of the best-known consultancies in Buenos Aires, in existence since 1970 – Ps500,000 ($122,000) for publishing inflation statistics that are much higher than the official figures. According to Ferreres’ research, annual inflation stands at around 25%, while Indec, the official government statistical agency, says it is 9.7%.

The Argentine government has fined eight consultancies for publishing inflation data higher than its own under what is known as a commercial faithfulness law. This forbids the publication of data that deceive people about the price of goods. The government first started to fine the agencies in February but acted again in July after they continued to disseminate figures that it contested.

"There is no way we can afford to pay these fines," says Fausto Spotorno, head of research at Orlando Ferreres & Associados. "However, we will continue to disseminate our inflation data. It is not fair of the government to try to stop us and we will appeal against the fines.

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