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ARGENTINA | 03-08-2022 17:34

Argentina’s new economy czar sworn in

Sergio Massa takes over as the country’s third economy chief in the last month

Argentina’s new Economy Minister Sergio Massa will outline his strategy for dealing with the plunging peso and soaring consumer prices after taking office this evening. 

President Alberto Fernández swore in Massa at 5 p.m. local time, crowning him as the most influential cabinet member after various ministries were consolidated into one. Massa, the nation’s third economy chief in 30 days, will then announce new measures at a 7:30 p.m. televised press conference. 

The event took place at the Bicentennial Museum, where members of Massa’s economic team were confirmed, including Matías Tombolini, Raúl Rigo, Jorge Domper, Claudia Balestrini and De Mendiguren.

Massa, 50, faces one of the toughest tasks of any policy maker in the world. Inflation is forecast to reach 90% this year, the country’s US$44 billion deal with the International Monetary Fund is off track and Argentines have yanked US$1 billion from bank accounts in the past month. 

Many investors expect Massa to shift policy in a more orthodox direction after Fernandez’s use of price controls and other anti-business measures over the last two and a half years failed to curb inflation or stabilise the economy. 

Bonds rallied and the currency strengthened in parallel markets after Massa was named minister. But his ability to cut the deficit may be undermined by next year’s presidential election, which will put pressure on him to boost spending. 

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