IMF May Lift Argentina Censure by November After Praising Revamp

  • Board praises efforts to strengthen Argentina’s statistics
  • IMF may be in position to lift censure after report on Nov. 15

The International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday it will probably lift its censure on Argentina by November after praising the statistics agency for correcting inaccuracies in its economic data.

While highlighting an improvement in accuracy in the country’s new consumer price index and noting that a revised series for gross domestic product meets international standards, the IMF said it will wait for a report scheduled to be submitted Nov. 15 before making a final decision. The document to be reviewed in November will be based on a mission’s Article IV consultation with Argentina in September.

“In light of the positive steps taken by the Argentine authorities, with continued progress and with a positive report to the board by the managing director, the executive board would be in a position to lift the declaration of censure at that time,” the Washington-based lender said in an e-mailed statement.

President Mauricio Macri assumed power in December seeking to restore investor confidence in Argentina after 12 years of populist policies under Nestor Kirchner and his wife, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. Macri immediately ordered a complete overhaul of the statistics agency, known as INDEC, when he came to power in December. Argentina in 2013 became the first country to be censured by the IMF for failing to report accurate economic data. Under the previous government, official surveys regularly reported inflation at about half of what private economists estimated.

The government’s inflation estimates began to diverge from non-government economists in 2007 after Kirchner replaced senior officials at INDEC. When private economists began publishing their own surveys, former Commerce Secretary Guillermo Moreno fined more than a dozen research firms for producing reports that differed from government data.

The IMF’s technical mission returned from a trip to Argentina on July 1 saying it was impressed by the country’s commitment to improving the quality of its figures.

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