BUENOS AIRES – The managing director of the International Monetary Fund said on Saturday that Argentina had made outstanding progress after obtaining a record $50 billion credit line from the Washington-based financial institution.
Christine Lagarde also said the deal would ensure protection for the most vulnerable members of Argentine society.
“The program that we have together has only been in place for a month, but clearly there has been very good progress in terms of fiscal development under the leadership of (Finance) Minister (Nicolas) Dujovne,” Lagarde said at a joint press conference with Dujovne at the start of the first day of a meeting of G-20 finance ministers.
“There has been significant progress in terms of monetary policy as well, where clearly the measures that have been taken by (Argentina’s Central Bank) have restored and managed a much better situation with less volatility, more transparency, and we certainly encourage that going forward,” she added.
Argentine President Mauricio Macri requested the $50 billion emergency loan from the IMF in May, a move much-criticized by the opposition.
He said the credit line was necessary to continue with his government’s gradual economic reform program and lower the fiscal deficit amid great imbalances triggered primarily by the sharp depreciation of the peso against the United States dollar in late April.
The financial program was approved by the IMF’s executive board last month.
Lagarde expressed confidence that Argentina’s high inflation rate – the drastic depreciation of the peso brought 12-month inflation to 29.5 percent in June and caused consumer prices to rise 3.7 percent relative to May – will come down between now and 2020.