Statement by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde at the Conclusion of the Executive Board’s Informal Meeting on Argentina

May 18, 2018

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund met today in Washington D.C. for an informal meeting on the Argentine authorities’ request for financial support. The meeting was an opportunity for staff to update the Board on recent economic developments in Argentina and present the government’s program in more detail. The meeting was chaired by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, who made the following statement after the meeting:

“Since President Macri’s administration took office, Argentina has been engaged in a fundamental and welcome transformation of its economy. While many policies have moved quickly, the government has also been conscious of the need to build and maintain social consensus in calibrating the pace of their reform efforts, including fiscal adjustment. It was well understood that such an approach carried with it certain vulnerabilities.

“Argentina is now facing significant financial volatility, in part as global financial conditions have tightened and also following the drought that undermined Argentina’s agricultural output. It is in this context that the Argentine authorities requested our support to help counter this market volatility and protect growth, job creation, and social cohesion in Argentina.

“Today, I conveyed to the Executive Board the Argentine authorities’ intention to request an exceptional access Stand-By Arrangement that would underpin their economic program. This will be Argentina’s economic program, one that has full ownership of President Macri and his government. The authorities stressed that goals of the program would include creating a clear path to strong, sustained, and equitable growth and robust job creation; restoring market confidence through a clear macroeconomic program that lessens financing needs and puts public debt on a firm downward trajectory; and importantly, protecting society’s most vulnerable during this transition. We fully endorse those goals.

“The IMF team and the Argentine delegation are in discussions and these will continue in Washington, D.C. in the period ahead.

“As I have stressed before, this is a partnership between Argentina and the IMF, and our shared goal is to reach a rapid conclusion of these discussions.”

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