Bartering increases in Argentina as inflation keeps soaring

Aug 11, 2022, 12:34 AM | Updated: 12:44 pm
A vendor sits surrounded by her secondhand garments displayed at a market where people can buy or b...

A vendor sits surrounded by her secondhand garments displayed at a market where people can buy or barter goods, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022. Argentina has one of the world’s highest inflation rates, currently running at more than 60% annually, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Census of Argentina (INDEC). (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

(AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina reported a monthly inflation rate of 7.4% in July, the highest number in two decades for a country where citizens are used to increasing prices.

Over the past year, Argentina’s consumer prices have soared a whopping 71%, the INDEC national statistics agency said Thursday.

At a time when many people around the world are trying to deal with rapidly rising prices, these latest numbers cemented Argentina’s position among countries with the highest inflation rates in the world.

The effects of the inflation scourge is plainly evident in Villa Fiorito, around 15kms (9 miles) from downtown Buenos Aires, where unemployed women gather in the hopes of bartering goods for food in a plaza.

Every afternoon, women set up their blankets and carefully lay out all kinds of goods, including clothes, toys and used kitchen utensils with the hope of exchanging them for food to feed their families.

The bartering that takes place every day in Villa Fiorito, famous for being the birthplace of late soccer legend Diego Armando Maradona, has emerged as a way for dozens of women who do not have a fixed income to make ends meet at a time when the cost of living has soared.

Things are likely to get worse before they get better in Argentina as analysts project that inflation this year will likely be higher than 90% with many speculating that a three-digit inflation rate is likely if the government of President Alberto Fernández fails to put the brakes on rising prices.

The price increases have hit food products particularly hard, worsening the poverty rate that already affects around 40 percent of the population of around 47 million.

Soledad Bustos, 31, sets up shop in the Villa Fiorito fair every afternoon while one of her children is in school and another is under the care of her sister.

Bustos offers jeans, leather boots, sneakers and shirts that she either took out of her own closet or bought through Facebook. In exchange she asks for powdered milk, which has become inaccessible.

“I can’t get to the end of the month, the money isn’t enough,” Bustos, a single mom, said.

Bustos is unemployed and says she receives around 36,000 pesos ($255) per month from the state, which is not enough to feed her family.

“I can’t survive with the welfare. Besides food I also have to buy the things for the kids’ school and medicine. I have no choice but to come here to be able to get a little more,” Bustos said.

These types of bartering fairs started spreading in Argentina after the economy collapsed in 2001 during the biggest economic crisis in its modern history. But they have reemerged in recent years amid a galloping inflation rate that has been stuck in double digits for years.

“This is living hand-to-mouth,” said María Inés Pereyra, 48, the coordinator of the fair that runs Mondays through Saturdays. “Whatever they obtain today they take it straight to the dining table.”

For safety reasons, only women can participate in bartering and most of the exchanges had already been previously arranged via Facebook or WhatsApp.

Although there is no set value for the used merchandise, Pereyra set a maximum price of 300 pesos ($2) for each item of clothing.

As an example, she pointed to a pair of leather sneakers that could be traded for a packet of sugar, cooking oil, flour and a local tea infusion.

Fernández’s administration has blamed the high inflation rate in July on a currency crisis caused by “speculative movements that tried to generate a crisis of uncertainty and push a devaluation,” Gabriela Cerruti, the government’s spokeswoman, said Thursday before the inflation rate was released.

The acceleration of the country’s already high inflation rate comes shortly after the government had three economy ministers within one month amid uncertainty that led the local currency to depreciate sharply in the financial market.

Analysts, and even members of Fernández’s administration, expect the August inflation rate to be similar to July in part due to increases in the price of public transport and energy.

In Villa Fiorito, Bustos says she and her fellow barterers are only focused on “surviving.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Eviation's "Alice", the world's first all-electric commuter airplane, takes off for its first fligh...
Associated Press

Prototype electric airplane takes first flight

A prototype, all-electric airplane took its first flight Tuesday morning in central Washington state.
20 hours ago
Shigeru Imaizumi, a 96-year old graduate from Kenkoku University, points to himself in a school pho...
Associated Press

Imperial Japan university unites graduates decades after war

TOKYO (AP) — Growing up, Fumina Oka knew little about the mysterious university her Taiwanese grandfather attended in northern China’s Manchuria during Japan’s occupation in the early 20th century. But as the 28-year-old journalist studied the little-known Kenkoku University, she became fascinated about a place that started out as a grand piece of imperial propaganda […]
20 hours ago
A classic American car drives past utility poles tilted by Hurricane Ian in Pinar del Rio, Cuba, Tu...
Associated Press

Cuba without electricity after hurricane hammers power grid

HAVANA (AP) — Hurricane Ian knocked out power across all of Cuba and devastated some of the country’s most important tobacco farms when it slammed into the island’s western tip as a major hurricane Tuesday. Cuba’s Electric Union said in a statement that work was underway to gradually restore service to the country’s 11 million […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

UN official warns of conflict, more poverty in Afghanistan

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A senior U.N. official warned Tuesday of a possible internal conflict and worsening poverty in Afghanistan if the Taliban don’t respond quickly to the needs of all elements of society, saying their crackdown on the rights of girls and women signals indifference to over 50% of Afghanistan’s population and a willingness […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

Hawaii fines US Navy for unauthorized sewage release

HONOLULU (AP) — The Hawaii Department of Health said Tuesday it has fined the U.S. Navy $8.8 million for repeatedly discharging untreated or partially treated sewage into state waters from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. The department said in a news release that it recorded 766 counts of the Navy discharging pollutants in excess of limits […]
20 hours ago
Officers set up crime tape outside a Chicago Police Department building in Homan Square, in Chicago...
Associated Press

Chicago police charge man who infiltrated SWAT training

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago police filed eight felony counts Tuesday against a man who climbed five stories of a fire escape to infiltrate a police facility while officers were undergoing a SWAT training exercise. Donald Patrick, 47, of Waukegan was charged with five counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer and three counts of […]
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Bartering increases in Argentina as inflation keeps soaring