(Updates with analyst estimate, background on economic crisis)
BUENOS AIRES, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Argentina inflation decelerated to 2.3% in January, the official statistics agency said on Thursday, well below analyst expectations for a 3.4% rise in a Reuters poll.
The rate of inflation was also slower than in December when consumer prices rose 3.7%.
The January data brought 12-month inflation to 52.9%.
Argentina consumer prices rose 53.8% in 2019, the biggest increase in 28 years. Taming inflation in Latin America’s no. 3 economy will be a major challenge for the new administration of President Alberto Fernandez.
Argentina’s economic crisis, which weakened the peso currency, led to the defeat of conservative former President Mauricio Macri. The Fernandez administration, inaugurated on Dec. 10, is currently in talks with creditors to renegotiate about $100 billion in sovereign debt. (Reporting by Jorge Iorio and Cassandra Garrison; Editing by David Gregorio)