In Argentina, ‘Macri economics’ plays whack-a-mole with crises By Reuters

0
66
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO - G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires

TedsWoodworking Plans and Projects

By Maximilian Heath

BUENOS AIRES(Reuters) – Argentine President Mauricio Macri is fighting economic fires on all fronts. Rein in inflation and cuts to utility subsidies threaten to rekindle it while also fueling public anger; get a tumbling peso in check by jacking up interest only to find industrial output has hit an almost two-decade low.

The center-right leader, on some fronts, is enjoying a rare period of calm: the peso has stabilized after losing half its value against the dollar last year, rampant inflation has stabilized.

Look elsewhere, though, and other problems are surfacing. Consumer confidence is at its lowest since a devastating financial crisis in 2001-2002; industrial output slid 15 percent in December and Macri’s popularity has tumbled.

GRAPHIC: Argentina’s economic snapshot-peso and interest rates – https://tmsnrt.rs/2TOJcfW

GRAPHIC: Argentina’s economic snapshot: inflation and output – https://tmsnrt.rs/2TLFrs0

“You can’t do everything at the same time,” said Nicolas Alonzo, Buenos Aires-based economic analyst at financial consultancy Orlando Ferreres & Asociados.

“In the world of economic policies it’s very hard to simultaneously meet multiple targets, which in Argentina’s case would be to bring down the inflation rate and expand economically at the same time.”

Whether “Macri economics” will succeed in stabilizing the $392-billion economy and restoring it to growth will be key for the outcome of elections in October and determine whether Argentina sticks with reforms backed by the International Monetary Fund or returns to leftist policies of former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. (Graphic: https://tmsnrt.rs/2tfkPMT)

A team for the IMF is expected in Buenos Aires on Monday as part of a third review of Macri’s progress under a $56.3 billion loan agreement with the international lender in which Argentina committed itself to stringent economic targets.

GRAPHIIC: Argentina’s subsidy burden – https://tmsnrt.rs/2THlx1c

While a reduction in government subsidies, including those that have kept utility costs low, is part of that commitment, “tarifazos” – sharp hikes in households’ water, gas and electricity – are a major headache for Macri.

They not only threaten to add fuel to inflation, which has already severely reduced consumers’ spending power, but have also sparked regular street protests, energized political opposition and dented Macri’s popularity.

The president’s approval rate sits at around 41 percent and there is little he can do to shore up his popularity given his economic toolkit is limited by the fiscal and economic targets agreed with IMF, analysts say.

They note, however, that with a fragmented opposition and his predecessor Fernandez de Kirchner under a shadow of corruption charges, Macri may still have a shot at reelection.

GRAPHIC: Macri’s government popularity ratings- https://tmsnrt.rs/2TOJ9AM

GRAPHIC: IMF lending to Argentina – https://tmsnrt.rs/2TOJkfq

GRAPHIC: Argentina’s electricity subsidies – https://tmsnrt.rs/2TOJh3e

GRAPHIC: Argentina’s water and transportation subsidies – https://tmsnrt.rs/2TG6GEc

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here