(Bloomberg) -- Argentina’s government is freezing prices on 1,432 household items in an effort to cool accelerating inflation ahead of November’s midterm election and the holiday season.
Prices will remain fixed until Jan. 7 on the products, a larger list than the roughly 900 items government officials had originally pitched to companies and supermarkets last week. Talks between the government and industry leaders on a price agreement fell through Tuesday after a few days of discussions.
It marks the latest chapter in Argentina’s tense relations with the private sector, following a failed nationalization of a soybean exporter, temporary export bans and a prohibition on firing workers. Interior Commerce Secretary Roberto Feletti offered up a blunt assessment in his statement Tuesday.
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“There are factions in the business leadership that aren’t conscious of their privileges and refuse to adopt a collaborative and contemplative attitude on the tough situation that the Argentine people are living through today,” Feletti said in a statement.
Inflation accelerated past expectations in September with consumer prices rising 3.5% from August, putting the annual figure at 53%. President Alberto Fernandez’s coalition faces a tough midterm election next month after it suffered a major defeat in a primary vote. Price controls are a common policy in Argentina that often prove futile.
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