September 19, 2014
IMF report on Argentina's GDP triggers doubts on coupon payment
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) today reported a steep deceleration of Argentina’s economic activity for 2014, in a context of “high uncertainty”, according to its latest World Economic Outlook released today in Washington.
However, what’s raising eyebrows and controversy is the IMF’s 2013 estimation of a 4.3 percent growth according to what they assure it's “official data.”
This figure is slightly above the 3.22 percent annual minimum variation triggered by the more than 3 billion dollars of GDP- linked Bond coupons.
The 4.3 percent growth informed by the IMF, opposes the preliminary estimation of the GDP variation (3 percent) released on March 27 by Economy Minister Axel Kicillof, with the new measurement methodology based on the 20014 economic census.
During that press briefing, Kicillof said the final percentage had differed from the 4.9 percent growth released by INDEC statistics office when informing the EMAE economic activity index, because the “GDP was calculated using a new basis, taken from the 2004 economic census” which revealed “significant differences” from the basis used back in 1993.
Kicillof warned this was a preliminary estimation. A new and provisional one will be elaborated in July, and the definite estimation will be ready in September, to determine whether GDP-linked bonds will be paid or not.
The IMF report reads that even though the GDP data for Argentina has been officially approved, it urges the country to adopt corrective measures aimed at improving the quality of the GDP official figures.
It added alternative sources show “a real growth significantly lower” in 2008 compared to the one showed by official data.
An official communiqué released by the Presidency’s Communications Secretariat on March 27 stated that with this provisional estimation of 3 percent, the national government should not pay around 2.5 billion dollars for the GDP coupon.
Thus, the data released today by the IMF in its report does not match the old activity estimation nor the new GDP index.