Argentina president’s image slides further as CPI, crime weigh

by on September 30, 2012 5:29 pm BST

Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:29pm EDT

* Fernandez’ popularity at 24.3 pct in Sept -consulting firm

* High inflation, worries over crime hit leader

* Growth slowing on CPI, Brazil, drought, global woes

BUENOS AIRES, Sept 30 (Reuters) – Argentina President
Cristina Fernandez’s popularity continued its downward slide in
September, sinking to 24.3 percent from 30 percent in August,
according to a poll published on Sunday, as high inflation and
worries over crime weighed.

As recently as September 2011, a month before winning her
second term, Fernandez had a 64.1 percent popularity rating
while campaigning on promises of deepening the interventionist
policy model of her late husband and predecessor as president,
Nestor Kirchner.

The 24.3 percent popularity rate for September is the lowest
of Fernandez’s second term. It had been at 38.1 percent in July.

But the economy has been seen slowing sharply due to high
inflation, a sluggish world economy, waning demand from top
trade partner Brazil, a drought-hit 2011/12 grain crop and new
trade and currency controls that have dented confidence.

Argentina clocked zero growth in the second quarter of 2012,
its weakest year-on-year performance since the third quarter of
2009, when the world was gripped by financial crisis.

The survey of 2,259 Argentines by polling company Management
& Fit found that 60.6 percent of interviewees disapproved of the
Peronist leader’s management.

Of those surveyed, 72.2 percent said they approved of this
month’s “cacerolazo” – a popular form of protest in Latin
America that involves banging pots and pans – to decry
Argentina’s economy and crime.

The INDEC statistics agency earlier this month said 12-month
inflation through August climbed into double digits at 10
percent from 9.9 percent a month earlier. That was far below the
20 percent to 25 percent rate estimated by independent
economists and consumer groups.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.2
percentage points.