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LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 19 March 2019

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In brief: Argentina

* The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that its mission to Argentina has successfully concluded and approved the third review of the US$57bn Stand-By Agreement (SBA) that it signed with Argentine government last year. The successful review of the progress that the Argentine government has made in implementing the economic adjustment package agreed by the two sides paves the way for the IMF to release a new US$10.87bn SBA disbursement to Argentina, pending approval by the IMF executive board. A statement by the head of the IMF mission, Roberto Cardarelli, commends the Argentine authorities’ “strong determination to address macroeconomic imbalances and advance their economic stabilisation plan. The high fiscal and external deficits, the two imbalances at the heart of the 2018 financial crisis, are in the midst of significant correction…The authorities met their 2018 primary deficit target, demonstrating their resolve to eliminate the vulnerabilities associated with Argentina’s fiscal imbalance”. However, the statement adds that “achieving a zero primary deficit in 2019 will require further restraint in government spending”.