The exchange difference and the price gap are a problem that increasingly stifles the economies of the Uruguayan border departments, a 88% of Salteños admitted having crossed the border in the last twelve months, with food and beverages, fuel and gastronomy being the main products purchased, with a frequency, for the most part, biweekly.
This week the Catholic University of Uruguay published its monthly report “Consumption habits of Salteños on the border” where it establishes that 88% of the natives of the city of Salto have made purchases at the border. Of that percentage, 61% do it biweekly, while 18% do it monthly.
For its part, the report, which focused on the Argentine city of Concordia, states that 100% of the citizens of Salta who cross to the neighboring city of Entre Ríos tend to buy food and drinks. This is followed by 89% who use it to refill fuel and 80% spend their money on gastronomic services.
In turn, 45% spend it on tourism services, 27% on leisure, 28% usually buy cosmetics or personal hygiene products, and 25% clothes or accessories. Among the Salteños who shop once a month, more than half spend between 2,000 and 8,000 pesos (between 50 and 200 dollars, approximately).
The price differences between one country and another have severely hit the merchants of the country’s coast, especially in paysandu, Black riverand Leapthe departments that have a land border with Argentina through the three binational bridges.
He 60% of those surveyed said they had not experienced “major problems or restrictions” when making their purchases, while a similar percentage have not noticed that changes in border policies affected their shopping habits.
The highest unemployment figures in the country
According to the latest disaggregated data from the National Statistics Institute (INE), the indicator in this border area of the country is well above the 8.4% average at the national level. This week, the INE published the data on activity, employment and unemployment corresponding to the January-March 2023 mobile quarter where Salto, once again, is the one with the highest unemployment rate with 14.7% and 9,900 unemployed people during the period of reference.
In Black river, meanwhile, unemployment climbed to 14.1%, with 4,200 unemployed, from 13.4% computed in the previous report. Likewise, according to INE records, a year ago this department had a rate of 9.2%.
The second place of the highest unemployment rate at the country level was shared by Artigas, according to monthly estimates of the labor market by geographic area of residence. On this occasion, and after several quarters of strong deterioration, the department registered an unemployment rate of 14.1%, the same as Río Negro, but the jump was greater insofar as its previous record was 12.7%.
In fifth position, meanwhile, is Soriano with 11.4% according to official measurements, surpassed by one tenth by tin Thirty and three (11.5%).
Finally, in Paysandu, unemployment was 10.8% in the first third of the year, with 6,200 people in this employment situation, when in the immediately previous measurement this figure was 10.5%. Unemployment numbers in the department worsened for the third time in a row. Likewise, in March of last year, this indicator had stood at 7.3% in sanducera lands.