The Ministry of Production confirmed this week its plan to boost consumer spending with an expanded interest free commodity purchase program entitled “Ahora 18”.
Originally instituted in 2014 as a Kirchnerist initiative known as “Ahora 12”, the new programme aims to stimulate the domestic economy and combat inflation by allowing consumers to purchase select goods in 12 or 18 interest free payments with credit cards.
The original product list from Ahora 12 has been updated to incorporate a wider range of goods, and now includes both electronics and tourism packages.
Looking to stimulate holiday season shopping, the new plan will take effect on 1st December, and run through the end of March 2017.
As explained by Javier Tizado, the Undersecretary of Interior Commerce, the program revision “includes the 14 categories of ‘Ahora 12” and incorporates four more,” consisting of computers, notebooks, tablets, accessories and spare parts for cars and motorcycles, electrical appliances with LED lighting technology, and musical instruments.
The government, which had originally expressed an intent to disband the Ahora 12 programme, reversed his position in light of recent reports showing dismal domestic sales figures.
According to an ongoing study from the German Abdala Foundation, domestic consumption decreased in October for the tenth consecutive month. The decline of 5.2% was the biggest recorded drop of this year, one that has been marked a sharp deterioration in household’s purchasing power amid high inflation.
“We renewed the programme because it proved effective in expanding access to goods and services, as well as stimulating consumption,” Tizdo said. “We relaunched it to strengthen the domestic market.”