Argentina making progress in monetary policy, says IMF chief

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Argentina is making progress in monetary policy aimed at improving its economic indicators, International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde said Saturday.

Measures taken by the central bank of Argentina have reestablished and generated a much better situation, with less volatility and more transparency, Lagarde said at a press conference in Buenos Aires.

Argentine President Mauricio Macri requested a loan in May amid a rapid devaluation of the Argentine peso. The IMF agreed to a loan of 50 billion U.S. dollars.

Under the agreement, Argentina has pledged to pursue several unpopular measures, including curbs on government spending to lower the public deficit, which have sparked protests by working-class groups.

In support of those measures, Lagarde said the joint program “has clearly had results,” adding that she has confidence Argentina would reach the target fiscal deficit of 2.7 percent GDP for 2018 and 1.3 percent for 2019, with the deficit eliminated by 2020.

High inflation remains a concern, reaching a year-on-year rate of 29.5 percent at the end of June, according to Finance Minister Nicolas Dujovne on Thursday.

The government aims at a lower inflation rate next year, falling 10 points compared with this year.

“The inflation target must be met,” Lagarde said. “The authorities have said so and that is what we have discussed and agreed.”

Lagarde was in the capital to attend a two-day meeting of finance ministers and central bank chief from G20 countries.

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