President Mauricio Macri. (Misiones)

“Argentina has set itself in motion,” said President Mauricio Macri on Tuesday.

In an interview with Channel 12 in the province of Misiones, Macri revealed his optimism regarding the country’s economic development. “I understand that it has not been an easy year and a half,” he said. “But we have succeeded in lowering inflation, we have returned to world markets, and Argentina has begun to grow after five years of stagnation. This year we will grow by three percent, and next year even more.”

Leading economists are more cautious in their projections. In May, Spanish consultants from Focus Economics compiled predictions from Argentina’s three “most accurate forecasters”: consulting firms Econometric, Empiria Consultores, and LCG. Econometric predicted that Argentina’s GDP would grow 2.5 percent in 2017. Empiria predicted 2.2 percent. Only LCG agreed with Macri’s prediction of 3 percent. While the Central Bank remains firm in its target of 12 to 17 percent inflation, no consultant predicts that inflation will fall below 20 percent. Econometric projected 22.1 percent, Empiria 22.4 percent, and LCG 23.4 percent.

But Macri is holding out hope. “We have recovered jobs that were lost in the first part of my term,” he said. He believes his relationship with provincial authorities is stronger than ever. “Now we work with all the governors, regardless of their political affiliations.” When the future of the people is at stake, he emphasized, leaders must push aside partisan differences.

For less optimistic citizens, Macri has one word: tranquilo. “Building a country like the one we deserve takes time,” he said. “We do it not in one day, but through small steps each day.”