Argentina inflation forecast to top 100% as prices spiral

FILE PHOTO: Pedestrians pass by Argentina's Banco Central (Central Bank) in Buenos Aires' financial district

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina's annual inflation could hit 100.3% this year, according to an analysts survey published by the country's central bank on Thursday, jumping 5.3 percentage points from the previous estimate.

The forecast in the Survey of Market Expectations (REM) comes amid a prolonged financial and social crisis in Latin America's third-largest economy.

September's monthly inflation is seen reaching 6.7%, slightly below the 7% figure registered in August, according to the median of estimates.

Inflation for 2023 is expected to hit 90.5%, also above the previous estimate of 84.1%.

Argentina's government stated in its budget draft that inflation will stand at 60% next year.

Argentina's deep economic slump drew thousands to the streets last week, with protesters demanding action to counter sky-high inflation and help the country's poor.

The country's poverty rate fell slightly to 36.5% in the first half of this year, compared with 37.3% rate during the second half of 2021, according to official data.

Analysts slightly raised their projection for 2022 economic growth in the South American country to 4.1% from 3.6%.

REM participants also expect the average nominal exchange rate in Argentina to be 173.13 pesos per dollar in December..

The survey was conducted between Sept. 28 and 30 among 39 participants.

(Reporting by Eliana Raszewski; editing by Richard Pullin)