Argentina

Argentina – better this time?

May 18, 2016, by Hubert Fromlet, Kalmar

This time, I change the content of my blog and turn to South America. Argentina is currently trying to reorganize and restructure its economy – not one single day too early. Now again, long-term observers of the Argentine economy may add.

The Kirchners certainly failed as presidents (2003-2015). Argentina’s relatively new president and former mayor of Buenos Aires – Mauricio Macri – is now trying to restore international confidence in his country by a much more market-oriented policy than the Kirchners were conducting. Some success can already be seen, for example by bringing back Argentina to international capital markets – though at a high interest rate and after an international compromise about the old government debt and the return to a floating currency system against the U.S.dollar (which led to a significant but unavoidable weakening of the peso).

Despite these and some other positive signals, the outlook for Argentina remains very uncertain. The country is still in a recession. Risks for social unrest are still in place.The budget deficit is high, and so is inflation after the abolition of important price regulations and the weaker exchange rate. Trying to give a better balance to the economy remains difficult.

In other words: l am not sufficiently convinced that Argentina will achieve sustainable progresss in its fight against the burdening economic hangover after the Kirchner era. My own analytical experience from Argentina and its economy makes me doubtful.

At least we can now see the start of a better economic policy for the fascinating country of Argentina. Let’s hope for the best ! But Macri and his team are still very far from the goal.

In the meanwhile, we can always watch all these wonderful fotboll players from the country of the pampas. They use to give us fun also during difficult times in Argentina’ economy. By the way, President Macri once was the head of Boca Juniors, the creator of many superstars of Argentine fotboll (soccer). Now he is the president of Argentina.

Hubert Fromlet
Senior Professor of International Economics, Linnaeus University
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