Speaking to Bloomberg TV on Friday as part of the the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Treasury Minister Nicolas Dujovne announced that Argentina is on track to meet its growth target of 3.5% this year, along with getting inflation down to 17%; and should that remain the case, the growing wave of protectionism in the United States will only have a ‘marginal’ impact on Argentina.
As Donald Trump enters the White House, it is expected that movements toward protectionism are likely to take place under his presidency. However, Dujovne remains confident the country will show positive economic growth. He assured this will be reflected by the National Institute of Statistics and Census of Argentina on March 21st when the report on the fourth quarter’s activity in 2016 is released.
This, along with the fact that Argentina has a relatively closed economy, should translate to a rather reduced impact.
However, in light of this confident claim, the burning question: “Is Argentina out of the recession?” didn’t take long to crop up. In response, Dujovne stated that there are “encouraging signs after a difficult year and as a result of lower inflation and some recovery in infrastructure spending and public works, November and December saw an improvement; which gives us some cautious optimism about how the Argentine economy is evolving.”
The production of cement and cars were notable areas in which positive growth was seen in interannual terms, contributing to overall improvements in the months of November and December. However, Dujovne also highlighted that the figures for agriculture have not yet been revealed, and said although the Macri administration ‘won’t be able to confirm it’, he remains confident that there is a ‘good chance’ there was positive growth and the ‘process of recovery in qualitative terms has begun’.
The minister rounded off by stating that Argentina “embraces globalization” as “the results of an isolated economy,” after Kirchner, “were dramatic for the country.”