IMF enhancing efforts in Latin America
OMFIF | Mon, Mar 25, 2019
by Mark Sobel
While the world focuses on the US and China, Britain's exit from the European Union, G3 monetary policy and Europe's doldrums, little attention is being paid to economic and financial developments in Latin America. Yet, change is afoot. The International Monetary Fund is stepping up activities in the region.
Argentina is the Fund's largest engagement, with around half of a $57bn programme already disbursed. The country is undergoing, by necessity, a tough fiscal austerity drive. President Mauricio Macri's administration, in hindsight, far too gradually restrained borrowing in its early days, only to see Argentina hit by adverse shifts in global market conditions, jeopardising market access. Recession ensued, but the economy is beginning to show signs of growth. Inflation, however, remains persistent, and the central bank just raised interest rates amid a renewed decline in the peso. Argentina is keeping its programme on track.