(Bloomberg) -- Monthly inflation in Argentina slowed more than expected in March, cooling for the third straight print as President Javier Milei’s austerity hurts consumer spending.  

Consumer prices rose 11% from February to March, less than economists expectations for 12.1%, according to government data published Friday. From a year ago, inflation accelerated to 287.9%, the highest level since Argentina exited hyperinflation in the early 1990s. 

Inflation data comes a day after Argentina’s central bank cut its benchmark rate to 70%, citing monthly price increases slowing even as the annual rate remains well above borrowing costs. 

Read More: Argentina Cuts Rates to 70% as Markets See Inflation Easing (1)

Four months into office, Milei has lifted price controls, devalued the peso and slashed government spending on social security and public sector workers’ paychecks when adjusted for inflation. That recipe has translated into sales tanking at shopping centers, limiting the degree to which businesses can continue raising prices going forward. Inflation expectations have also cooled as Milei hasn’t wavered on his austerity drive. 

Economists surveyed by Argentina’s central bank see monthly inflation cooling below 10% in May, an earlier-than-expected timeframe. Annual inflation is projected to end this year at 189%. 

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