Argentina reduces primary fiscal deficit to 2.4pc, meeting IMF goal

BUENOS AIRES (Xinhua) – Argentina’s primary fiscal deficit in 2018 was 2.4 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP), meeting the goal agreed upon with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), its Finance Minister said on Friday.

“Argentina closes the year of 2018 with a negative primary result of ARS338.987 billion (around USD9.02 billion), 2.4 per cent of the GDP, which is compared with a primary deficit of 3.8 per cent of GDP in 2017,” Argentina’s Minister of the Treasury Nicolas Dujovne said.

Dujovne said the result fulfilled the fiscal goal established in the standby agreement with the IMF, namely to bring the primary fiscal deficit down at 2.7 per cent of GDP in 2018. He said the IMF will review the programme in the coming month. Argentina is expected to have access to its disbursement of USD10.8 billion in March.

The Argentine government sought help from the IMF in 2018 after the South American country suffered currency volatility that saw the peso lose 50 per cent of its value against the dollar. It struck a standby agreement of high access with the IMF that consists of financing to the tune of USD56.3 billion.