September 12, 2019 / 7:48 PM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Argentina inflation speeds up again in August after peso plunge

(Adds inflation background, primary election results, graphic)

BUENOS AIRES, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Argentina consumer prices accelerated in August for the first time in five months after a shock primary election defeat for market-friendly President Mauricio Macri triggered a sharp slide in the peso currency.

The country’s consumer prices rose 4.0% in August, the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INDEC) said on Thursday. That brought year-to-date inflation to 30.0%. Rolling 12-month inflation is now running at 54.5%.

The faster August rise marked the first monthly acceleration since a peak in March, after which inflation had been cooling as Macri’s government had tightened monetary policy. Prices had risen 2.2% in July.

The South American country’s persistent economic crisis, however, re-erupted after opposition candidate Alberto Fernandez netted a landslide lead in the Aug. 11 primary, dashing Macri’s hopes of reelection in October.

Macri warned Argentines that inflation would begin to accelerate again and had said it would likely be above 3% in August.

Argentina’s inflation is expected to rise above 50% this year after exceeding 47% in 2018, worsening the financial turmoil in Latin America’s No. 3 economy as it faces high poverty levels.

Reporting by Jorge Iorio, writing by Adam Jourdan and Cassandra Garrison, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien and Richard Chang

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