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Argentina inflation hits 23.9%, second after Venezuela

[BUENOS AIRES] Argentina's inflation hit 23.9 per cent last year, according to official figures released on Friday, the second worst in South America after Venezuela, but the opposition says the figure is much higher.

The rate given by the Indec statistics agency is lower than the 38.5 per cent estimated by opposition lawmakers in Latin America's third-largest economy.

The official figure was calculated using a methodology agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after doubts were raised about the credibility of the country's inflation statistics.

In 2013, annual inflation was 11 per cent, but private analysts estimated it to be around 30 per cent.

In Venezuela, which has endured an economic downturn and basic food shortages, inflation skyrocketed to 64 per cent last year.

Argentina's economy has slowed down in the past year, which was marked by the nation's second debt default in 13 years.