Finance Minister Hernán Lacunza acknowledged this afternoon that the Mauricio Macri administration's economic results have been "lower than expected."
Addressing Congress, where he was presenting the government's draft 2020 Budget proposal, the new minister put the record down to a "combination of inheritance, inconsistencies and external factors," such as "the severe drought we had last year or the sharp cut to financing emerging markets."
"To trace a reflection of these past four years, first instead, if we measure by the conventional employment and inflation variables, the results have been lower than expected," admitted Lacunza, who argued that President Macri's commitment to "gradualism" at the start of his administration "should have been financed with debt issuance."
"The results of these four years have been lower than expected," he declared.
espite the self-criticism, however, Lacunza didn't hold back from criticising Kirchnerite leaders for the "inheritance" they left Macri when he took over in 2015, highlighting "distortion in relative prices", "inflation" and "inheritance subsidies." In addition, he stressed, a third of the country was left "poor."
The INDEC national statistics bureau says poverty currently stands at 32 percent in Argentina.
The government's budget proposal, which will eventually be enacted by whoever wins October's presidential vote, predicts that the peso will be trading at 75 per US dollar by the end of next year, with an average strength of 67 pesos per greenback for the year. It also predicts economic growth of one percent of GDP after a 2.6-percent contraction in 2019, and sees inflation coming in at 34 percent.