Inflation has reached decade highs in many countries around the world, but in Argentina – which has been dealing with ultra-high inflation rates for at least a decade now – it’s on a whole other level. Inflation in the country is at 58% – and rising.
Prices there have been rising fast enough for long enough now that people have pretty much no sense of what things cost. Dinner could cost the same as a car payment; a new phone could be the price of a few months of rent.
On top of that, prices vary from place to place, so it takes a lot of time for Argentines to find the most economical options, and it’s hard for businesses to keep up with the competition.
“Nobody knows how much something costs,” said Federico Moll, the director of economic research at a consulting firm in Buenos Aires. “Talk to any Argentine of a certain age and they probably can tell you how much something went for in the 1990s, but they don’t remember how much something costs today compared to yesterday.”
“There’s no controls, the government practically abandoned us,” said janitor Dionisa Romera, speaking of the lack of control on certain goods that are supposed to be price-regulated. “You go to the supermarket and get one price, you go to the grocery store and get another.”