Argentina's New Economy Minister: State 'Won't Spend More Than We Have'

Argentina's new economy minister Silvina Batakis said on Monday she would target cutting the country's high fiscal deficit, pledging "order and balance" in a bid to tame spiraling inflation, tumbling markets and growing pressure on the peso, Reuters reported. Batakis, who took over last week after an abrupt shake-up at the ministry, said Argentina will move toward positive interest rates, maintain plans to cut energy subsidies and stick with goals agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). "We need to give some order and balance to the nation's public finances," she said at a news conference in Buenos Aires. She pledged new measures such as tying budget quotas to "real cash projections" to ensue a fiscal balance. "That is to say we are not going to spend more than we have." The South American country, a major grain exporter, is facing inflation estimated to hit 76% this year, pressure on the peso currency that has driven up the price of dollars in popular black markets and worryingly low foreign currency reserves. That has been exacerbated by rising global food and energy costs linked to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which has turbocharged already high domestic inflation. Read more.