July 16, 2021
1. June inflation reaches 3.2%
The Argentine statistical agency (INDEC) released the consumer price index – the country’s official measure of inflation – for the month of June, which registered a monthly increase of 3.2%. So far, inflation has accumulated 25.3% in 2021, and 50.2% in relation to the same month of last year. In this sense, inflation is fast approaching the target set by the national government in the 2021 budget, which had estimated it at 29% for 2021. For June, the items that experienced a higher increase were communications (7%) – driven by the increase in mobile telephony and internet services, alcoholic beverages and tobacco (5.5%), and clothing and footwear (3.5%). In comparison, the sectors that saw the smallest increase were education (1.1%), and miscellaneous goods and services (2%), and recreation and culture (2.2%).
2. Economy Minister Guzmán meets with U.S. Treasury Secretary
Within the framework of the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting of the G20 in Italy, Finance Minister Martín Guzmán met with U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. The purpose of the meeting was to obtain the support of the United States in the renegotiation of the debt, whose support is essential since it is the main shareholder of the IMF and the only member with veto power. In this regard, Guzmán pointed out that they had a “very valuable and detailed” conversation, in which they discussed “the importance of solving both the problems of tax avoidance and debt renegotiations, in a multilateral manner.” On the other hand, Guzmán held a separate meeting with IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva, multilateral lender to which Argentina must pay USD $4.5 billion through the remainder of this year. In this regard, the minister said that “Argentina will continue to work constructively with the IMF. Our goal is to have a good agreement, the sooner the better, but our priority is to reach a good one.”
La Nación: Cumbre en Venecia: Martín Guzmán tuvo su primer mano a mano con la secretaria del Tesoro de EE.UU.
El Cronista: Encuentro entre Guzmán y Georgieva, con eje en asimetrías y deuda insostenible con el FMI
3. Electoral coalition formation period closes
Argentina entered the final stretch of mandatory primary elections (to be held on September 12th) last Wednesday night, when the deadline for the presentation of electoral coalitions expired. In this sense, the most outstanding news is the incorporation of Mendoza Deputy José Luis Ramón to the Frente de Todos coalition, who had a coalition of his own in the lower house, which frequently voted with the ruling party. On the other hand, the main opposition party, Juntos por el Cambio, welcomed Margarita Stolbizer’s GEN party to its coalition in the City and Province of Buenos Aires. Additionally, it is expected that there will be a Buenos Aires area-exclusive coalition between María Eugenia Vidal, former Buenos Aires Governor, and Ricardo López Murphy, former Minister of Economy and presidential candidate in the 2003 elections.
4. Project regarding frontal labelling receives opinion in lower house
On Tuesday afternoon, the committees of General Legislation, Social Action and Public Health, Industry and Consumer Defense met and issued a majority opinion on the project regarding front labeling of food, which sets guidelines for healthy eating and establishes the placement of a series of labels on food packages with high contents of sodium, sugars, saturated fats, total fats and calories. The bill, which was already approved by the Senate last year, is supported by the Frente de Todos as well as by opposition blocks. However, deputies Pablo Yedlin, from Frente de Todos, Alejandro García, from PRO, and Carmen Polledo, from PRO, presented their own opinions arguing that, although the regulation is necessary, the bill under discussion leaves out key considerations to be taken into account regarding the implementation of the system.
Ámbito Financiero: Diputados logró dictamen de mayoría para el proyecto de etiquetado frontal
5. National government gradually amplifies entrance allowances to the country
By means of Decree 455/2021, the national government extended the measures taken in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic through August 6th. In addition, Administrative Decision 683/2021 maintained the border closure, but ordered a gradual extension of weekly quotas for Argentine citizens and foreign residents to enter the country, in order to mitigate the arrival of the Delta variant. As a result, there will be 5,200 places for the week from July 10 to 16, 6,300 for the week from July 17 to 23, and 7,000 from July 24 to August 6. On the other hand, the City of Buenos Aires published Decree 244/2021 which enabled the opening of offices with a capacity of 30% and social gatherings of up to 20 people in outdoor public spaces, and ten people in private homes and in common spaces of buildings. The Province of Buenos Aires, meanwhile, made official the course of action to be followed through Resolution 2671/2021 with no new openings in Greater Buenos Aires.