IMF calls Milei’s economic program ‘impressive,’ talks on fresh funds for Argentina ‘premature’

The lender’s communications director also said that the government should work ‘pragmatically’ to secure political and social support

The International Monetary Fund’s communications director, Julie Kozack, praised President Javier Milei’s economic program but warned that pragmatism is necessary for social and political support.

Kozack also said that a new program with the IMF, a possibility that Argentine media outlets have speculated on, would be “premature.”

“The Argentine authorities are decisively implementing an ambitious stabilization plan to restore macroeconomic stability,” Kozack said on Thursday in her usual press conference. “Progress so far has been impressive.”

Since taking office, Milei has applied a series of austerity measures including slashing public spending and devaluing the currency. This week, 15,000 state workers were fired, mainly from the Agriculture Secretariat, the National Social Security Agency, and the Health Secretariat.

Milei said that reaching a zero deficit in the public accounts is his main goal, and the IMF has consistently applauded his efforts but has also cautioned prudence in implementing austerity measures.

Kozack said that international reserves are being rebuilt, that inflation is “falling more quickly than anticipated” and that a fiscal surplus was recorded in both January and February “for the first time in over a decade.” She mentioned that the government is scaling up social assistance on the child allowance program, as well as protecting the real value of pensions.

Although progressively decreasing, the three monthly inflation rates published since Milei took office have been the three highest since February 1991 and the highest in the world, with interannual inflation at 276%. Private reports have found that roughly one-third of the money saved by the government was from slashing pensions.

“The path to stabilization is never easy, and it does require steadfast policy implementation,” she warned. Echoing the Fund’s western hemisphere director Rodrigo Valdés, Kozack stressed that the government should “continue improving the quality of fiscal adjustment.”

She also highlighted the importance of working “pragmatically” in building social and political support to help ensure the durability and effectiveness of reforms. The same day, the country’s provincial governors met with Interior Minister Guillermo Francos to discuss a new version of the defunct omnibus bill, which includes measures for economic deregulation.

Meanwhile, Economy Minister Luis Caputo said on X that prices are going down, using a zipper manufacturer and a supermarket chain as examples. Caputo will travel to Washington DC next week for the IMF’s Spring Meetings and meet lender’s representatives. Argentine media outlets have reported on possible negotiations for a new program with the Fund with fresh disbursements. However, Kozack dismissed the possibility for the time being.

“At this time, it would be premature to discuss modalities for a potential future program,” she said.


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