Argentina legislative elections: is the continuity of the pro-business direction at stake?
Since Mauricio Macri took office in mid-December 2015, the economy has started to recover. The exchange rate was liberalised during Macri’s first week in office, price controls were removed, import barriers were lifted, discredited national economic statistics were revamped, subsidies were reduced and the holdout saga was finally resolved in April 2016. The last of these measures allowed the country to regain access to the international financial market after a hiatus of 15 years. Coface subsequently upgraded Argentina’s country assessment to B1 in December 2016. The positive trend did however come, as expected, with short term side effects. Inflation picked up to 41 % in the end of the first year of government, reducing household purchasing power and leading the economy into recession (GDP -2.2 % in 2016). Social protests flourished in response.
The recovery could, however, be nipped in the bud by renewed political uncertainties against the backdrop of the legislative elections to be held on October 22 2017. The government is therefore in a rush to show that the economy is rebounding.