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Country Report Argentina August 2017

Country Report Argentina August 2017

  • August 2017
  • ID: 1698112
  • Format: PDF
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit


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Outlook for 2017-21

  • The president, Mauricio Macri of the centre-right Pro party, is pressing on with a programme of economic policy adjustments. Mr Macri is working to reduce economic distortions and return the economy to sustainable growth.
  • The combined effect of high inflation and subsidy cuts is hitting consumers hard, and their patience with adjustment is wearing thin. This poses risks to governability, particularly in the run-up to mid-term elections in October 2017.
  • There will be a moderate recovery in economic activity in 2017-18, taking growth to 3.3% in 2018. However, weak external conditions will drag down growth in the second half of 2018 and in 2019, before a modest rebound in 2020-21.
  • After a post-devaluation spike in inflation in 2016, disinflation is expected in 2017-21 on the back of fiscal tightening and increased domestic output. A shift to an inflation-targeting framework will support price stability.
  • The peso will continue to depreciate in nominal terms in 2017-21. Peso weaken-ing will be limited by large capital inflows. There is a persistent risk of currency volatility as the central bank gradually reduces interest rates.
  • A moderate current-account deficit in 2017-21 will be comfortably covered by solid inflows of portfolio capital and by foreign direct investment, which is expected to pick up in 2017, directed towards infrastructure and agriculture.


  • Resignations in July ahead of mid-terms paved the way for Mr Macri's biggest cabinet reshuffle to date. His new cabinet appointments suggest that a key priority is to secure the continuing support of the UCR party.
  • The primary fiscal deficit came in ahead of target in the second quarter 0f 2017, amid signs of recovery in fiscal revenue (and due partly to the one-off boost from a tax amnesty). Interest payments rose sharply, however.
  • A moderate recovery in GDP growth remains on track. The monthly econo-mic activity index rose by 0.6% in seasonally adjusted month-on-month terms in May, driven by a strong performance from agriculture and construction.
  • In July the government announced a 24% overall increase in the minimum wage, to be undertaken in three stages between now and July 2018.
  • The peso depreciated sharply in July as farmers stockpiled part of the agricultural harvest and investor jitters over a proposed capital gains tax on non-resident deposits grew.
  • There was a sharp deterioration in the trade balance in the second quarter, reflecting trends both in exports and imports. The import bill rose by a brisk 18% year on year while export earnings stagnated.

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