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Argentina seeks negotiation with IMF "work fine before it’s fast": half

BUENOS AIRES, Apr 18 (Reuters) – Argentine Economy Minister Martín Guzmán said the country wants the negotiation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to “work well before it is quick,” according to an interview published Sunday by the newspaper Clarín.

The Argentine official’s statements are part of the possibility of reaching an agreement with the organization prior to the legislative elections next October.

The South American nation is in talks with the IMF to renegotiate a loan of about 45,000 million dollars signed in 2018, while also seeking to reschedule with the Paris Club an upcoming maturity of about 2,900 million dollars.

Due to the scope of the debate over these conversations with the IMF, the official said that “what we see is that an agreement is reached in May or early in June or indeed it will not have to be after the elections.”

On the other hand, Guzmán also referred to inflation, which registered an increase of 4.8% last March -the highest level since September 2019-, “what we have seen in the first quarter is a difference between the effective inflation and the one that we projected of around two percentage points “.

The South American country, which is going through high inflation and a prolonged recession, could end 2021 with inflation above 45%, while the government estimated in its budget that it would reach 29%.

Analysts estimate that the new measures imposed by the administration of the president, Alberto Fernández, to reduce COVID-19 infections would impact on an incipient recovery of the economy.

Argentina, according to information from the Ministry of Health, registered 19,119 new cases and 80 deaths on Saturday.

(Report by Hernán Nessi, Edited by Walter Bianchi)

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