March 18th, 2022
1. Congress approved the government agreement with the International Monetary Fund
After beginning its treatment in the Chamber of Deputies, the Senate of the Nation approved the bill presented by the Executive Power with the IMF agreement with 56 affirmative votes, 13 negative votes and 3 abstentions. The national government negotiated an “Extended Facilities Program”, which will allow subscribing to a new loan with the international organization, to cancel the accumulated maturities of this year corresponding to the credit taken by Argentina during 2018. In the coming days, the agreement must be approved by the IMF board for its implementation. It is worth mentioning that on March 22, Argentina would face a first payment of approximately U$S 2,700 billion, in a context of shortage of net reserves by the Central Bank. In this sense, the approval of the financing would provide access to new disbursements to increase reserves. and postpone the maturities of the 2022 – 2023 period. Among the main axes and measures that were agreed for the coming years are the gradual reduction of the fiscal deficit, energy sustainability and a review of the exchange rate policy
2. February inflation was at 4.7%
The National Institute of Statistics and Census (INDEC) released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the month of February, which registered an increase of 4.7%, accumulating 52.5% in its inter-annual measurement. The items with the highest increases were Food and Beverages (7.5%), Transportation (4.9%), Equipment and Maintenance (4.4%) and Miscellaneous Goods and Services (4.3%). In comparison, the sectors with the lowest increases were Recreation and Culture (2.3%) and Communication (1.5%). In January 2022, monthly inflation reached 3.9%, accumulating 8.6% in only the first two months of the year.
3. Alberto Fernández to announce economic measures
After the release of the inflation index for the month of February, which reached an increase of 4.7%, President Alberto Fernández will announce this Friday afternoon the economic measures to be taken by the national government to try to control price increases. The announcement will be made at the Government House and he will be accompanied by the Chief of Cabinet, Juan Manzur, and the Minister of Economy, Martín Guzmán. Prior to the announcements and with the agreement with the International Monetary Fund approved by the Congress, the presidential spokeswoman, Gabriela Cerruti, stated “we put the fight against inflation as the Government’s priority”.
Cronista: Hoy arranca la guerra a la inflación: Alberto Fernández regresa de Tucumán y anuncia esta tarde medidas
Infobae: La “guerra con la inflación”: en un clima de tensión, el campo aguarda los anuncios de Alberto Fernández
4. YPF raised fuel prices
On Monday, the state-owned company YPF (Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales S.A.) increased fuel prices by an average of 11.5% and marked a path for its competitors, who increased fuel prices by up to 15%. Because of the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine and the increase in the international price of crude oil, the increases were reflected in the country’s fuel pumps. According to a statement issued by the state-owned company, “the international price of the fuels with which the local supply is complemented increased even more than crude oil”.
5. Census 2022: the first phase has begun
The National Population, Households and Housing Census will be carried out after 12 years and the virtual format will be implemented for the first time, to complement the questionnaires that will be carried out in person. From March 16 to May 18, 2022, the inhabitants of the Argentine Republic will be able to answer the 2022 Census digitally. The Census is mandatory for all habitants of the country, including foreigners with more than six months of residence, and all homes throughout Argentina will be visited. To access the digital Census go to https://www.censo.gob.ar