What are the anti-inflationary measures of the federal government that have worked? Basically, the increase in import quotas for agricultural products and speed up trade in dairy products and fertilizers with the United States.
In inflationary terms, the sacrifice of more than 300,000 million pesos in tax revenue through the subsidy of fiscal taxes on gasoline and other taxes forgiven to distributors of these fuels has worked, and very well. But the gap that this opens in public finances is enormous.
What is it that will never work to try to alleviate an inflation that is worldwide? Evidently, the attempt to dictate a price control in the small internal formal market.
However, to the extent that the increases in basic products affect, more than consumers, presidential popularity, an eventual price control will continue as a constant threat to the economy.
Once again, the well-known method of giving businessmen the pig’s trotters leads to agreements being reached with food producers and distributors.
There is something that can make it less costly for the business sector to comply with these “agreements” with the López Obrador government.
Unlike last May, the date on which the “Package Against Inflation and Scarcity” was announced, when the prices of energy and food were in a vertical rise in their prices, today there is less pressure on the international benchmarks of many agricultural and energy products.
The food index of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) shows a consistent decline. There are, in fact, five consecutive months of decline in this indicator, which despite this remains almost 8% above its level in September 2021.
Dairy products, meat, sugar and especially cereals and vegetable oils show drops in their prices, without this implying that these indicators are no longer close to their historical maximum levels.
In any case, there is a global depressurization of food prices that could begin to be reflected in the Mexican economy and that would politically relax the pressure on local producers and distributors.
The inflation of the past first fortnight, with its increase of 0.41% and the annualized record of 8.76%, could, now, already be setting a ceiling for the General Consumer Price Index.
From the outset, the impact of returning to school was already left in that fortnight. These increases of more than 5% in preschool education and 4% in private primary education influenced this measurement of the first 15 days of September and the reality is that its incidence is not so low despite the limited scope of the Private education.
Statistical comparisons with the difficult final months of 2021 in terms of price increases will already begin to be noticed and, also, the economic slowdown could have an impact on consumption and with it on prices.
If inflation really manages to show a tipping point, those populist tickles of price controls might relax.
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