Argentina sticks to deficit targets, says finance chief

Source: Xinhua| 2018-07-20 13:25:37|Editor: xuxin
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BUENOS AIRES, July 19 (Xinhua) -- Argentina would stick to its goal of reducing primary fiscal deficit to 2.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018, Finance Minister Nicolas Dujovne said on Thursday.

"Our fiscal deficit target is 2.7 percent of GDP this year, 1.3 percent in next year, and to balance the budget in 2020. The fulfillment of these goals is irreversible," Dujovne said at a press conference.

In the first half of 2018, Argentina registered a primary fiscal deficit of 0.8 percent of GDP, down 0.6 percent from last year.

"For the sixth quarter in a row, Argentina has met its fiscal targets, which will lead us to fiscal balance in 2020," said Dujovne.

Argentina primary budget surplus is likely to remain through the end of the year, according to Dujovne, allowing the government to meet its year-end targets and those in next year.

"In the first half of this year, revenue grew at a higher rate than spending. Revenue increased by 26 percent year-on-year, while primary spending grew by 19 percent year-on-year," he said.

Dujovne added that high inflation remains a concern in Argentina, reaching a year-on-year rate of 29.5 percent at the end of June.

However, the government is confident that the country's inflation rate will lower next year, falling 10 points compared with this year.

The National Statistics and Census Institute (Indec) said on Thursday Argentina's accumulated inflation hit 16 percent in retail and more than 30 percent in the wholesale sector so far this year.

The peso's devaluation against the U.S. dollar led to higher prices for some goods, driving up inflation, said the minister.

Argentine President Mauricio Macri on Wednesday acknowledged that the country is suffering from an economic "storm" but predicted its economy would recover next year.