Argentina, IMF to resume financial checkups next week


Buenos Aires (AFP)

An International Monetary Fund mission will go to Argentina to assess the state of the country's economy, the government said.

The economists, who will arrive Monday, aim to "gather information and exchange opinions with government officials, members of the private sector, members of Congress and civil organizations," according to a statement from the Ministry of Finance.

Monday will mark the Fund's resumption of its Article IV missions -- in which it assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the economies of each member country every year -- to Argentina after a 10-year hiatus.

The regular fiscal checkups were interrupted in 2006 when then president Nestor Kirchner halted them.

"Article IV represents a new step for Argentina in its international reintegration," said the ministry.

The move marks a repairing of relations that soured in the wake of the country's default on $100 billion in debt in 2001.

Ties between the two hit rock-bottom when the IMF censured Buenos Aires in 2013 for not meeting an IMF requirement that members must provide reliable, basic economic statistics.

The shift comes after the sweeping economic policy changes of President Mauricio Macri, who took office in December after a long period of IMF-hostile Argentine governments.

Macri has moved to repay defaulted debt and implement market-friendly reforms, as well as replacing the country's statistics chief with someone more credible.

Under the previous government of Cristina Kirchner, the government regularly issued data that showed economic growth far higher and inflation far lower than mainstream economists believed.