IMF expected to delay action on Argentina on stats dispute until mid January
The IMF said Thursday that it was unlikely to take action on Argentina failure to supply accurate statistical data before January, if the country misses a deadline next Monday.
IMF spokesman Gerry Rice told reporters that IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde would submit her report to the board on December 17 on the failure of Buenos Aires to provide accurate data on inflation and growth to the Fund as members are required.
Three months ago Lagarde warned that Argentina could be censured over the issue, after nearly two years of pressing the country to abide by IMF rules for providing accurate economic data.
So they had the yellow card, and they have three months to avoid the red card, she said in Washington in September.
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez subsequently hit back, saying her nation would not be subjected to threats of any kind, and dismissed the ‘soccer terminology’.
Rice said Lagarde will submit a report to the board on Monday, but said the board then needs to meet to review the report and decide a course of action.
The date of that meeting is not yet set... I would not expect it to be this year, he said.
Lagarde will be attending the Latin America regional meeting of finance ministers in Viña del Mar, Chile, on Friday but it is not known whether she will meet privately with Argentina Finance chief on the sidelines of the conference.
Ms Lagarde in the first of her two day visit said in Santiago de Chile that according to IMF estimates the country’s economy will grow 5.5% this year and over 5% in 2013, but above all underlined what she described as the ‘fantastic numbers” of the country’s economy.
“Chile’s numbers are fantastic; the envy of the whole world: inflation under control, low unemployment, low deficit and even lower debt”, however she admitted that Chileans are now “more interested in quality and fairness”.
Lagarde also warned about Chile’s current account deficit and recommended to be alert to global issues such as the European crisis, the US fiscal cliff and the volatility of commodities’ prices on which the Chilean economy depends.
The IMF chief met with Finance minister Felipe Larraín and Central bank governor Rodrigo Vergara.
Before arriving in Chile Ms Lagarde visited Colombia where she also praised the management of the economy and excellent macro economic stats.