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Three news items from Ibero-America: inflation in Argentina exceeds 254%, Mexico targets Amazon and MercadoLibre, IMF gives recommendations to Colombia  

Marina Vanni,  February 14, 2024

Inflation is not letting up in Argentina:

On Wednesday 14 February, the inflation figure for January was released, which reached 20.6% in the first full month of the new presidency of libertarian Javier Milei. The National Institute of Statistics and Censuses, Indec, indicated that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) figure was down on December, when a rise of 25.5% was recorded.
The latest figure brings the year-on-year inflation rate to 254.2% in the country. Goods and services, transport and communications were the most affected items.

Mexico against technology "monopolies":

Mexico’s antitrust body, the Cofece (Federal Economic Competition Commission), expressed its concern about the market preponderance held by Amazon and Mercado Libre in the country.
According to what was published on Tuesday 13 February in the Official Gazette, the companies put up barriers to free competition in the electronic retail sector. Cofece pointed to loyalty programmes as a tool used by these companies to corner customers. This includes streaming subscriptions along with shipping services.
Amazon denied this anti-competitive practice and claimed to promote innovation, while MercadoLibre clarified in a statement that it is reviewing the preliminary ruling.

IMF shares findings on Colombia’s economic plan:

The International Monetary Fund’s technical team that visited the South American country concluded that "the Colombian economy has made good progress towards a more sustainable level of economic activity, with notable reductions in inflation and the current account deficit".
The communiqué published on the IMF’s official website adds that "it will be necessary to proceed with caution in future reductions in the monetary policy interest rate" to control inflation without losing credibility. In addition, the IMF mentions as a risk "the projected increases in the deficit and debt this year".
However, the fund welcomes Colombia’s initiative to redirect spending towards energy transition for a more sustainable future.

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