July 20th, 2024

Argentina devalues its currency and cuts subsidies as part of shock economic measures

By The Associated Press on December 12, 2023.

Argentina's newly sworn-in President Javier Milei, left, and his sister Karina arrive to the Colon Theater for a gala event in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023. (AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico)

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) – Argentina on Tuesday announced a sharp devaluation of its currency and cuts to energy and transportation subsidies as part of shock adjustments new President Javier Milei says are needed to deal with an economic “emergency.”

Economy Minister Luis Caputo said in a televised message the Argentine peso will be devalued by 50% from 400 to the U.S. dollar to 800 pesos to the dollar.

“For few months, we’re going to be worse than before,” he said, two days after the libertarian Milei was sworn in as president of the second largest economy in South America and immediately warned of tough measures.

Milei said the country didn’t have time to consider other alternatives.

Argentina is suffering 143% annual inflation, its currency has plunged and four in 10 Argentines are impoverished. The nation has also a yawning fiscal deficit, a trade deficit of $43 billion, plus a daunting $45 billion debt to the International Monetary Fund, with $10.6 billion due to the multilateral and private creditors by April.

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