Home International News Argentina’s budget back in black with $589M budget surplus in January

Argentina’s budget back in black with $589M budget surplus in January

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Argentina, under newly-elected President Javier Milei, is in the black for the first time in nearly 12 years, as its first monthly budget ended with a surplus of $589 million, at the official U.S. exchange rate.

The country’s economy ministry announced the milestone on Friday, adding the surplus also includes payments on interest accrued on the public debt.

This is “the first (monthly) financial surplus since August 2012, and the first surplus for a January since 2011,” the Economy Ministry said, as reported by the Telam news agency.

Since taking office on Dec. 10, Milei has made good on many campaign promises to fundamentally overhaul the historically socialist federal government of Argentina.

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Milei’s drastic overhaul of the country’s economy is not expected to be a smooth operation, and he has characterized it as financial “shock therapy” that will negatively affect thousands of citizens.

In December, Milei signed a decree outlining his plan to address the country’s financial crisis, which included privatizing state-owned companies.

Argentina has South America’s second-largest economy but is suffering 143% annual inflation, which has caused the country’s currency to plummet.

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The country also has a trade deficit of $43 billion, as well as $45 billion in debt to the International Monetary Fund, with $10.6 billion due to private and multilateral creditors by April.

Milei has reportedly been in negotiations with the International Monetary Fund over the debt and vows to balance the public finances this year.

Over the weekend, it was reported that Argentina’s poverty level rose to 57.4% in January, reaching the highest percentage in at least 20 years.

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Milei’s devaluation of the peso shortly after his inauguration in December, caused poverty levels to worsen.

By the end of the year, the poverty level was 49.5%.

The devaluation of the peso also causes prices of everything to rise.

Politicians have to understand that the people voted for change and that we are going to give our lives to bring it forward,” Milei said on social media. “We did not come to play the mediocre game of politics. We came to change the country.”

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