Buenos Aires Times

economy After IMF warnings

Macri: ‘We want to ease off debt financing’

After a shaky few days, the national government is expressing optimism about the country’s economic future.

Tuesday 2 January, 2018
Holidaying in Patagonia, President Mauricio Macri took time off to meet with wind farm workers in Chubut province on January 2, 2018.
Holidaying in Patagonia, President Mauricio Macri took time off to meet with wind farm workers in Chubut province on January 2, 2018. Foto:Screenshot

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The national government is working toward an economic future characterised by less debt financing and greater productivity, President Mauricio Macri indicated Tuesday.

“We want to ease off debt financing and avoid our children and grandchildren having to pay (the debt). Each and every one of us has to work toward living within our means. We should try to save money, in order to clear a safer path for our children and grandchildren”, he said, visiting a wind farm in Chubut province.

“We said that we would kick start the country, and that’s what we’re doing. We’re paying retirees, mortgages are again available. But each of us, public servants, need to administer our resources with care, with balance”, he added. 

In line with similar expressions emanating from the national government after Thursday's announcement of a softer inflation target for 2018, Macri said he was optimistic about the country’s economic future. He pointed specifically to the 15-months of consecutive growth the country has experienced.

“The year 2018 will be a great year for Argentina”, he said.

Argentina’s foreign debt rose to US$216 billion in 2017, up 20.3 percent on 2016’s total foreign debt, according to a report from the country’s INDEC statistics bureau.

IMF WARNINGS

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday reiterated its expectations that Argentina’s economy should “slowly pick up in the coming years”.

However it also had cautionary words for the national government about the country’s growing rate of debt to GDP and inflation.

In a report outlining its forecast for Argentina’s economic future, the IMF predicted a growth rate of 2.5 for 2018, one percentage-point less than the government’s own forecast in next year’s budget.

The report, coinciding with the last working day of the year, foresaw a final economic growth rate of 2.8 percent in 2017, up from the 2.5 percent it had expected in October.

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