Argentina Vows End of Money Printing to Battle 60% Inflation

Argentina’s new Economy Minister Sergio Massa pledged to stop printing money that helps fuel runaway inflation, outlining his strategy to turn around the country’s deepening crisis, Bloomberg News reported. Massa rolled out his economic roadmap Wednesday night after being sworn in by President Alberto Fernandez as the third such minister in a month. Massa’s measures also focused on boosting exports, reducing the country’s fiscal deficit and increasing the central bank’s dwindling reserves. Massa inherits the enormous challenge of taming inflation that’s now over 60% and expected to reach 90% by the end of this year. Cut off from international capital markets, Fernandez’s government has relied on money printing to cover its chronic fiscal deficit. “Magic doesn’t exist,” Massa bluntly told reporters in Buenos Aires. “We have to confront inflation with determination.” Argentina’s dollar-denominated bonds edged up Thursday, with prices for those due in 2030 climbing 0.3 cent to around 24 cents on the dollar. The government will finance its budget by reducing its deficit or via private lending. The country is considering four loan offers by three international banks and a sovereign wealth fund, he said, without providing a figure of the potential deal. Separately, Massa is launching a voluntary local debt swap in pesos for bonds that mature in the next 90 days. He said that there’s already 60% “adhesion” to the swap, without providing more details at the press conference. Read more.