October 18, 2019
1. Electoral panorama
Two weeks before the general elections, the Frente de Todos, under the call for the celebration of the day of Peronist Loyalty, held an event in the province of La Pampa with its presidential formula as the protagonists. In the act, the candidate for president, Alberto Fernandez, called for “an Argentina that includes everyone”. Also, next Saturday, October 19 in the Obelisk– a Buenos Aires landmark – the government will hold a rally in support, called “The Millionth March”. Also, last Sunday, October 13, the first presidential debate took place in the city of Santa Fe. In this meeting, the six candidates for president debated on International Relations, Economy and Finance, Education and Health, Human Rights, Diversity and Gender. The second and final debate prior to the General Elections will be held on October 20 in the city of Buenos Aires, where the candidates will address the thematic blocks of Employment, Production and Infrastructure; Federalism, Institutional Quality and the Role of the State; Social Development, Environment and Housing; and Security. If there is a ballotage, there will be a debate between the two candidates who will compete in the same, on November 17, in the same venue of the second debate.
2. Conventional Oil found in Vaca Muerta
A borehole drilled by the Unión Transitoria de Empresas (UTE), formed by the state-owned Emesa and Roch, in the Agua Botada area, Malargüe, south of the province of Mendoza, produced positive results and conventional oil was found in the area. Through a statement, the provincial government detailed that “although the well is located in the Mendoza area of Vaca Muerta where exploration of unconventional crude is beginning, the material found is conventional and of good quality.
3. IMF reiterates support for Argentina in midst of economic crisis
At the first press conference of recently-appointed IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva, the entity reiterated its support for Argentina in the midst of its economic crisis. The Bulgarian economist emphasized that the IMF are awaiting the economic policies of whoever wins the Argentine general elections on October 27th before taking further action regarding loans. Georgieva, who assumed the position at the beginning of this month, assured that the IMF’s desire to support Argentina is “as strong” as it was under her predecessor Christine Lagarde. Finance Minister Hernán Lacunza and Central Bank President Guido Sandleris will meet with International Monetary Fund Executive Director Kristalina Georgieva in Washington today to discuss Argentina’s situation and the future of the 57 billion dollar standby program.
4. September registers highest inflation rate of 2019
The Argentine statistical agency (Indec) reported a 5.9% inflation rate for September – the steepest monthly figure so far this year and one of the highest such figures during the administration of President Mauricio Macri. With this increase, year-over-year inflation stands at 53.5%. It is worth noting that, following the August 11th primary elections and the subsequent 33.58% devaluation of the Argentine peso, the government had anticipated an elevated inflation rate in August and September. When examining consumer prices by sector, clothing and footwear (+9.5%) and health (+8.3%) were hit hardest in the month of September. The Argentine central bank explained that the U.S. dollar’s upward spike in relation to the local currency “temporarily interrupted the process of lowering inflation that had been in progress since this April. Monthly inflation figures descended from 4.7% in April to 2.2% in July, before increasing again in August to 4.4%.”
Ámbito Financiero: La inflación de septiembre fue del 5,9% (récord en el año)
5. 55th IDEA Colloquium held in Mar del Plata
The IDEA Colloquium is an annual meeting hosted by the Argentine Business Development Institute in Mar del Plata, that brings together business and political leaders to discuss political and economic trends. Buenos Aires Governor María Eugenia Vidal inaugurated the meeting, kicking off an agenda that includes more than 70 speakers, such as Consenso Federal presidential candidate Roberto Lavagna, MercadoLibre founder Marcos Galperín among others. Although it was speculated that presidential election frontrunner Alberto Fernández would be present, no member of his Frente de Todos coalition attended. President Mauricio Macri will close the event via videoconference. The upcoming general elections and what could happen as a result proved to be the main topic of conversation between business leaders, labor union leaders and political party representatives during the event. The president of the Supreme Court, Carlos Rosenkrantz, in front of the auditorium said “the decision of the judges should not be the one suggested by political preferences”.