Economist warns of stiff challenges for Argentina in 2017

BY  | FROM  | 2017-01-10 13:52

Argentina begins a year filled with economic challenges, stemming from the policies which are increasing the country's debt, said economist Gustavo Girado.

For Girado, founder of the Asia & Argentina (A&A) consultancy, the South American country experienced a bad year in 2016.

"Unemployment and inflation rose notably," he said.

"Argentina became the most indebted country in the world, due to emitting bonds, in a single year. That is why the government has to fight the growing deficit," said Girado.

According to a report from the Metropolitan University for Education and Labor released Monday, Argentina had debts of 48.383 billion U.S. dollars at the end of 2016.

The government also said the fiscal deficit stood at 4.8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), and set a target of 4.2 percent in 2017.

Tax collection has dropped while prices climbed more rapidly, and the level of economic activity nosedived, which led to a frightening result -- gross domestic product fell by nearly 4 percent, said Girado, adding that such a panorama has not appeared until the 2001 crisis in the country.

"With the obvious retraction of private consumption facing such a panorama, public investment has not been able to compensate," he added.

For the economist, "if the government does not change its central policies, 2017 will be seen as a year at least as bad as 2016 for the country. Undoubtedly, this will have an impact on the legislative elections that will take place in October 2017."

"My view is highly pessimistic if a series of policies are not reversed as they seem to confirm a negative outlook that will seriously threaten Argentina's future," Girado concluded.

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