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Argentina seeks to control prices amid devaluation

Argentine Economy Minister Axel Kicillof speaks during a news conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. Kicillof announced a deal with Argentina's largest retailers to the lower prices of consumer and household electronics that were raised during the recent currency devaluation. With Argentina’s peso on its sharpest slide in 12 years, Argentines are dealing with one of the world's highest inflation rates. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) -- Argentina's government has announced agreements with business leaders to keep the recent sharp depreciation in the peso from pushing up prices for consumer goods.

Economy Minister Axel Kicillof said Wednesday that "there is no reason for up or down movements in the foreign currency to translate into prices in the economy. Tariffs, taxes and salaries are not in dollars."

Chronic high inflation is one of the main worries of Argentines, who fear the sharp drop in the Argentine peso against the dollar will heat up the rise in prices even more.

The government says producers of steel, aluminum, metal products, petrochemicals and plastics have agreed to hold prices to pre-Jan. 21 levels. That is the day before the biggest fall by the peso since Argentina's 2001-2002 economic crisis.