Home » Comparing Costs: How Prices and Salaries in Argentina Stack Up Against Europe

Comparing Costs: How Prices and Salaries in Argentina Stack Up Against Europe

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Comparing Costs: How Prices and Salaries in Argentina Stack Up Against Europe

Argentina’s soaring inflation and plummeting wages compared to Europe

A price comparison carried out by CNN en Español has shed light on the stark similarities between the costs of basic food items in Buenos Aires and Madrid. A liter bottle of olive oil in Buenos Aires costs 6.73 euros, while half a kilo of sandwich bread is priced at 2.50 euros. The prices mirror those found in Madrid, but the salaries in Argentina are a fraction of those in Spain.

According to the latest data from the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses, the average salary in Argentina in the third quarter of 2023 was 193,281 pesos, equivalent to 149 euros. This pales in comparison to the average salary in Spain, which is almost 10 times higher than that of Argentina.

Amidst Argentina’s economic challenges, the minimum wage is also significantly lower than that of Spain. The minimum wage in Spain was 1,134 gross euros per month in early 2024. In contrast, the minimum wage in Argentina is a mere 156,000 pesos per month, approximately 120 euros, as per labor agreements.

Juan Manuel Telechea, an economist and director of the Institute of Labor and Economy of the German Abdala Foundation, explained that Argentina’s economic stagnation has resulted in wages that are insufficient to provide decent purchasing power. He emphasized the need to address the root problem of inflation, saying that it is crucial to lower inflation, have access to dollars, reduce the fiscal deficit, and manage the excessive amounts of circulating pesos.

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As prices of basic products in Argentina continue to soar, there is a growing disparity between the income and expenses in the food basket, with inflation reaching nearly 73% between September and December of 2023. The gap between income and expenses is widening, and negotiations to update wages are ongoing.

Telechea expressed some optimism about the future, stating that the ideal scenario would be for prices and salaries to align, bringing Argentina’s economic conditions closer to those of Spain and the rest of Europe.

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