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Country Forecast Argentina April 2018 Updater

Country Forecast Argentina April 2018 Updater

  • April 2018
  • ID: 483935
  • Format: PDF

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  • The president, Mauricio Macri of the centre-right Propuesta Republicana, will press ahead with a programme of economic policy adjustment in an effort to eliminate distortions and return the economy to sustainable growth. The adjustment process includes politically unpopular austerity measures, and there will be some resistance from unions and left-wing parties, but governability will remain relatively good, at least up until the presidential election in late 2019. The Economist Intelligence Unit assumes that Mr Macri will win a second term in 2019, allowing for policy continuity thereafter.
  • Given the president's minority position in Congress, and the priority given to urgent macroeconomic reforms, there is likely to be only piecemeal progress on the pursuit of legislation that would successfully address longstanding institutional weaknesses. Comprehensive reforms to reduce corruption and enhance the effectiveness and independence of the judiciary will prove difficult.
  • Progress in other areas of the structural reform agenda has so far been good. At the end of 2017 the government managed to push tax and pension reform through Congress; its next challenge is labour reform, but this is likely to be presented as a series of micro reforms.
  • Real GDP growth will slow from 2.9% in 2017 to 2.7% in 2018 amid a severe drought, which will affect agricultural production. For the remainder of the forecast period, GDP growth will remain around 3%, assuming some global headwinds (particularly in 2020, when we project a US slowdown), but also a moderate boost to growth late in the forecast period from implementation of structural reforms.
  • Reflecting an overvalued peso, along with a rapid rise in imports drawn in by economic recovery, the current-account deficit will remain large. However, currency adjustment should gradually bolster the current account towards the end of the 2018-22 forecast period as a weaker peso starts to boost goods and services exports and rein in imports. The country's ability to finance moderate current-account deficits has improved following Argentina's exit from default, and should remain sound.
  • Argentina's GDP per head is among the highest in the region and, combined with improved access to credit, moderate rates of economic growth in the medium term will boost purchasing power and create market opportunities. Still-high poverty rates and income inequality will restrict the pool of consumers, but to a lesser extent than in many other countries in the region.


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