South America

Chile’s inflation hit a new 28-year high in July as food and transportation prices surged and the peso plunged to an all-time low, boosting pressure on the central bank to extend its aggressive interest rate hikes, Bloomberg News reported. Prices rose 13.1% from a year prior, more than the 13% median forecast of economists in a Bloomberg survey. Monthly inflation stood at 1.4%, the national statistics institute reported on Monday. Chile’s annual inflation rate has risen for 17 consecutive months amid several back-to-back shocks.
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Brazil's Economy Ministry expects the central government to post a primary surplus of 6 billion reais ($1.15 billion) this year, its first since 2013, according to internal estimates seen by Reuters. An official from the ministry, speaking on condition of anonymity as the calculations are not public, called the estimate conservative because it considers 36 billion reais in extraordinary dividends in 2022.
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Argentina’s new Economy Minister Sergio Massa pledged to stop printing money that helps fuel runaway inflation, outlining his strategy to turn around the country’s deepening crisis, Bloomberg News reported. Massa rolled out his economic roadmap Wednesday night after being sworn in by President Alberto Fernandez as the third such minister in a month. Massa’s measures also focused on boosting exports, reducing the country’s fiscal deficit and increasing the central bank’s dwindling reserves.
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With inflation hurtling toward triple digits and, economists say, just a policy mistake or two away from setting the stage for hyperinflation, Argentina's central bank is desperately trying to avert a peso devaluation that would only trigger another wave of price hikes, Bloomberg News reported. Each day, the bank dispatches its traders to sell dollars and buy pesos that no one wants. On average, they’re burning through $60 million a day. For now, that’s kept the peso mostly steady in the primary foreign-exchange market.
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New Economy Minister Sergio Massa is preparing a set of measures to address one of Argentina’s key problems: a chronic shortage of dollars that has caused the U.S. currency to soar in parallel exchange markets, Bloomberg News reported. Massa, who was named by President Alberto Fernandez last week as the head of an expanded and empowered economy ministry, is expected to unveil incentives to exporters as well as policies to attract more foreign investment and to capture additional tourism revenue, according to people with knowledge of the plan.
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Brazil posted a lower than expected trade surplus of $5.444 billion in July, official data showed on Monday, with growth in imports again strongly outpacing that of exports, Reuters reported. The figure came below the median forecast of a $6.993 billion surplus in a Reuters poll. Imports rose 41.6% in July over the same month last year, to $24.511 billion, the Economy Ministry said. Exports grew by 23%, to $29.955 billion, added the ministry, stressing that higher prices boosted the results in both cases.
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Some holders of Ecuador's sovereign dollar-denominated bonds maturing in 2030, 2035 and 2040 have received interest payments which had been due on the securities on July 31, Reuters reported. A Luxembourg bailiff had ordered banks to freeze assets held by Ecuador at accounts in the country as a result of a dispute over a $391 million settlement award that Anglo-French oil company Perenco says remains unpaid, a document seen by Reuters show.
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Argentine President Alberto Fernández, grappling with a political crisis within his ruling coalition, on Thursday fired the economy minister he appointed three weeks ago and replaced her with an influential lawmaker and ally as he faces economic turmoil, WSJ Pro Bankruptcy reported. Sergio Massa, currently president of the lower-house of Congress, will take over as economy minister, the president’s office said in a statement. The president also gave Mr.
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Brazil created a net 277,944 formal jobs in June, with all sectors of the economy posting growth, figures from the country's labor ministry showed on Thursday, Reuters reported. That number, however, was lower than the 317,812 jobs created in the same month last year, said the ministry, which based its figures on adjusted government data. Net job creation in South America's largest economy reached 1.335 million in the six months of the year, with each month recording growth.
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Argentina's central bank raised its benchmark interest rate by eight percentage points on Thursday to 60%, marking its seventh hike this year alone, in a renewed push to tame surging inflation as the country suffers a deepening economic crisis, Reuters reported. The so-called Leliq interest rate set by the country's monetary authority was previously at 52%, but analysts expect inflation could exceed 80% this year as the governing coalition is rocked by growing internal divisions over spending as well as the tightly-controlled exchange rate.
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