May 3rd, 2024


1. Bases Law and fiscal package get half sanction at the Chamber of Deputies

After a debate of almost 20 hours, the Chamber of Deputies approved the Base Law and the Fiscal Package, two initiatives that President Javier Milei presented at the beginning of his administration. La Libertad Avanza obtained wide support from the blocks of the PRO, UCR, Hacemos Coalición Federal, Innovación Federal and provincial minority blocks, obtaining the half sanction of the Ley Bases with 142 positive votes, 106 negative votes and 5 abstentions; while the Fiscal Package obtained the approval with 140 positive votes, 103 negative votes and 6 abstentions. In order to approve them, the Government agreed to modify several points to bring positions closer to the opposition blocks and avoid surprises in the chamber. Specifically, it agreed to eliminate several articles of the Base Law, and to add in the Fiscal Package the biannual update of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) of the scales of Profits and the Monotax. Thanks to these previous negotiations, both bills were presented and approved without modifications, and will be debated in the Senate on May 23 and 24.

La Nación: El oficialismo logró aprobar en la Cámara de Diputados la Ley Bases y el paquete fiscal 

2. OECD estimates that Argentina’s GDP will fall by 3.3% in 2024

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published a report where it projects that Argentina’s GDP will fall by 3.3% this year, deepening the fall of 2023 and making it the country with the largest contraction in the world behind Saudi Arabia. The OECD pointed out that high inflation, the “considerable but necessary” fiscal adjustment of Javier Milei’s government and political uncertainty will weigh on private consumption and investment during most of this year. At the same time, it clarified that the situation would rebound next year with a growth of 2.7%, 0.1 points higher than previously advanced. “The gradual lifting of import restrictions and exchange controls will eventually boost domestic demand recovery, particularly in 2025. Pent-up demand resulting from these restrictions will keep imports strong, while exports will continue their robust recovery.”    

El Cronista: La OCDE prevé una mayor recesión para Argentina: cómo sigue la inflación y la tasa de interés

3. The Government postponed the gas, electricity and fuels increases 

The Government decided to postpone the increases in gas and electricity tariffs and the update of the fuel tax that should have been applied from May 1. Although the monthly update formula for gas and electricity tariffs that the Government designed so that the increases granted do not lag behind inflation was to be applied as from today, the regulatory entities of both services did not publish the new tariff charts since the National Minister of Economy, Luis Caputo, and the Secretary of Energy, Eduardo Rodríguez Chirillo, analyzed the impact that the new tariff increase was going to have on inflation and decided to postpone it for at least one more month. Regarding fuels, the Government defined “to defer the update corresponding to the fourth quarter of 2023 of the Fuel and Carbon Dioxide Taxes for unleaded gasoline, virgin gasoline and diesel oil, to June 1, 2024. In this way, the measure guarantees predictability to the sector and establishes that there will not be any increase for such concepts in May.”

La Nación: El Gobierno posterga los aumentos de luz, gas y el impuesto a los combustibles de mayo

4. CGT mobilized for Workers’ Day

After the approval of the Ley Bases, and as part of its confrontation with the Government, the CGT deployed its convening power in a mobilization for May 1st. The leadership issued a document with strong demands to the Government, which it accused of implementing “a brutal adjustment.” Wednesday’s march was part of its protest roadmap, which includes the second general strike against Javier Milei’s administration in eight days. In this sense, one of the leaders of the CGT, Héctor  ear, was forceful and declared that “we ratify the strike of May 9. It was never in doubt.” Likewise, he remarked: “we want to clarify that we have not discussed or negotiated any project or opinion of what happened in the Chamber of Deputies.”

La Nación: Día del Trabajador: la CGT se movilizó con reclamos al Gobierno y en la previa a otro paro general

5. Private medical companies must increase their fees according to the Consumer Price Index

After the Government requested prepaid medicine companies to back down following excessive increases in the value of their services, it announced yesterday the formula to be followed by the companies in order to increase their fees. It was informed that the new values may not exceed the medical assistance health plan fee for the month of December 2023 multiplied by 1 + the percentage variation between the Consumer Price Index at general level with national coverage prepared by the INDEC in force at the time of the corresponding invoicing, and the same Index corresponding to December 2023. Thus, in order to calculate the maximum value of the current installment (depending on the case it could be April or May), an adjustment of 93.3% maximum must be applied for the April installment (i.e. the cumulative inflation between the months of November to February). While for the May installment an adjustment of 114.6% (i.e. the cumulative inflation from November to March) must be applied as a maximum.

La Nación: El Gobierno anunció la fórmula que deberán seguir las prepagas para subir las cuotas