A Brief History of Hyperinflation in Argentina

Emilio Ocampo

Por Emilio Ocampo

Serie de Documentos de Trabajo. Abril de 2021.

A fiscal deficit of 8.5% of GDP, limited access to credit locally and internationally, country risk premiums at default levels and money supply growing at 80% annually, have led some analysts to predict that Argentina might be heading into a ―3-digit modern hyperinflation.‖ Although this opinion is not widely held, the consensus inflation forecast for 2021 is 47%, a level significantly below any definition of hyperinflation but high by global standards (above the 98th percentile). Even more worrisome, over the last decade inflation has shown a persistent upward trend and since January 2019 has averaged 45%. Given all of the above, it is worthwhile investigating when Argentina experienced it and why. This paper attempts to answer the first part of this question. According to a widely accepted view there was only one hyperinflation between 1989 and 1990. This paper argues that Argentina experienced four hyperinflationary episodes that were part of a long-term cycle that started in 1945.

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