Press Release: Argentina: Press Statement following Article IV Consultation

January 8, 2003

The Executive Board of the IMF today completed Argentina's 2002 Article IV consultation. Directors discussed the origins of Argentina's severe economic and financial crisis, the steps that have been taken by the government to respond to it, and the challenges that still remain to build an enduring recovery and sustain growth.

While Directors generally regretted the time it has taken to put together an economic program that would address these challenges in a comprehensive way, Directors recognized the greater economic and financial stability seen during the second half of 2002. Directors agreed that fiscal restraint has been a contributing factor to this stability.

Directors cautioned, however, that this stability should be nurtured. They recommended that, to ensure an enduring recovery, Argentina should focus on achieving a clear political consensus in favor of reforms, building a sound fiscal framework, restoring confidence in the banking sector, increasing trade openness, and restructuring debt.

Board members looked forward to the early finalization of a short-term economic program that would be a step toward the more comprehensive program Argentina needs to restore growth and place the economy on a sustainable path.

The Argentine authorities have authorized the publication in due course of the staff report and their accompanying assessment of the situation.

A Fund mission will travel to Buenos Aires today to pursue discussions with the authorities on their request for a transitional program with the IMF


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