Argentina Is Waging a Two-Front Economic Battle, Macri Says

BloombergArgentine President Mauricio Macri says his government has no ‘Plan B’ for the economy and is confident he can slow inflation and stimulate growth at the same time ahead of mid-term elections in October.

“There’s no Plan B. We have to do both things at the same time,” Macri said in an interview at the presidential residence outside Buenos Aires. “There’s no other way. With lower inflation you’re defending the salary value of the worker,” and that’s my main commitment, he said.

While the economy exited recession and consumer prices began to fall from a peak of 47 percent last year, Macri faces his first general strike as unions protest high inflation and broken promises to protect jobs. The strike comes on the first full day of the Latin American edition of World Economic Forum that’s being hosted in Buenos Aires this year.

Inflation in Argentina began to slow toward the end of the year, posting the slowest second half since 2008. But it accelerated again in February to 2.5 percent from a month earlier and the central bank has maintained rates at 24.75 percent since November, citing mixed results in the inflation indicators it follows. …

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During the last several decades, the United States has invested billions of dollars in trying to help the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean deliver better lives for their citizens. This has meant helping them increase internal security by combating the illicit growing and trafficking in narcotics and the activities of terrorist groups, as well as helping them to shore up their democratic and free market institutions.

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