Argentina posted a primary fiscal deficit of 105.8 billion pesos (US$3.7 billion), or 0.8% of gross domestic product (GDP) in the first half of 2018, government data showed on Thursday, down 26.7% from the same period last year.
Consumer prices rose 3.7% in June in Argentina, official data showed on Tuesday. That brought 12-month inflation to 29.5%, up from 26.3% in the 12 months through May, the INDEC national statistics bureau announced, which makes it the highest monthly recorded figure of the last two years.
The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved on Wednesday a three-year Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) for Argentina amounting to US$50 billion (equivalent to SDR 35.379 billion, or about 1,110 percent of Argentina’s quota in the IMF).
Argentina is looking to expand an existing currency swap arrangement with China, as Buenos Aires looks to stabilize the economy one month after applying for financial aid from the International Monetary Fund. In an interview with the Financial Times, Argentina’s Chief of Cabinet Marcos Peña, said “we have an active swap with China that the previous government left us and we will try to make it bigger.”
In a continuation of a previous arrangement, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved Colombia for a flexible credit line of US$ 11.4 billion. The new two-year arrangement replaces the pre-existing credit line, which has now been cancelled. Colombia will continue to see the funds as precautionary to be used only in if economic conditions worsen due to an external shock or other emergency, according to the IMF.
Following twelve hours of heated and at time acrimonious debate the Argentine Senate on early Thursday voted, 37 to 30, to freeze utility prices. President Mauricio Macri had anticipated that if the bill was passed he would veto it because there is no way the budget can stand an additional 1% of GDP deficit.
The late MIT economist Rüdiger Dornbusch used to tell his students in the 1980s that there are four kinds of countries: rich, poor, Japan, and Argentina. No one frets anymore about Japan buying its way to world domination. But the world is worrying again about Argentina.
Italy's president set the country on a path back to fresh elections on Monday, appointing a former International Monetary Fund official as interim prime minister with the task of planning for snap polls and to pass the next budget. The decision to appoint Carlo Cottarelli to form a stopgap administration sets the stage for elections that are likely to be fought over Italy's role in the European Union and the euro zone, a prospect that is rattling global financial markets.
“We are really moving ahead and we have committed to President Macri that we will do the best we can in order to move expeditiously and efficiently in order to change the perception about Argentina and the perception that people have about our role,” Ms Lagarde said in Russia.
A sigh of relief from Argentine president Mauricio Macri and his administration following on Friday's Tedeum by the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, which marks the Church' message on May 25, the symbolic celebration of the first independence efforts during the 1810 Revolution.