By Andrés Bello (*) - Argentine President Mauricio Macri seems almost certain to lose his country’s presidential election next month, after committing the same kinds of economic policy mistakes that so many of his Peronist predecessors made. It is a tragic and catastrophically disappointing denouement.
Argentine president Mauricio Macri appointed Finance Minister Luis Caputo as president of the central bank on Thursday, after the outgoing head of the bank resigned and acknowledged having lost credibility.
Argentina’s central bank moved on Wednesday to improve its debt profile by offering to swap some of its one-month Lebac securities for paper of longer duration, the bank said in a statement.
The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) World Economic Outlook update for April 2018 has reduced its expectations of growth for Argentina this year, and its projected annual inflation rate largely exceeds the 15% goal set by president Mauricio the Macri administration in December 2017.
Argentina’s central bank would raise interest rates if inflation does not fall “a lot” beginning in May to a level consistent with its 2018 target for a 15% rise in consumer prices, central bank Governor Federico Sturzenegger said on Monday.
Argentines will have to get used to the volatility of the money exchange rate, advised Central Bank president Federico Sturzenegger on Wednesday when the US dollar (a sacred reference for Argentines) reached a new historic high above the 20 Pesos. (Actually 20,69 for retail sales and 20,69 for wholesale operations at the end of trading).
Argentina changed its inflation target for 2018 to 15%, up from the central bank’s previous goal of 8-12%, Treasury Minister Nicolas Dujovne said on Thursday, raising expectations for interest rate cuts. The government will postpone by one year its goal of lowering inflation to 5%, pushing it back to 2020, Dujovne said.
Argentina's Peso rose against the dollar on Monday for the first time in two weeks, after the central bank intervened in the foreign exchange markets on Friday to halt the currency's rapid decline to historic lows, when it reached 18 Pesos.
Argentina's central bank hiked interest rates on its short-term securities on Tuesday in its monthly auction, the second such increase in the past three months as it seeks to soak up pesos and rein in stubbornly high inflation.
Argentina’s international currency reserves rose above the landmark US$40 billion for the first time in three and a half years last Friday, as a huge inflow of dollars from government-issued debt and some exports over the last few days caused some dramatic increases this week. The milestone, according to Central Bank chief Federico Sturzenegger, was “a sign of growing investor confidence in the country.”