By Daniela Cortés Correspondence Buenos Aires
Economist Aldo Pignanelli spoke with El Territorio on the economic outlook for the next year.
"Recently, a senior official of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) asked me if the Argentineans were aware of what is coming. I think we are ending a very complicated year, but the worst thing is still to come," he shot forcefully Pignanelli to start the interview.
To explain his look, economist said that "during 2019, two fronts that do not bring good news to the Argentine people will be combined. On the international level, the strong bidding between China and the States Units intensified and therefore it will cost us more to buy as well as to sell to these markets because the fight of giants moves to prices. And in the internal field we will live another year of high inflation, which doing a calculation of the most optimistic possible, will be around 30% ".
For some economists – considering that this year is about to close with an inflation of 48% – projecting for 2019 an inflation of 30% means an improvement. However, Pignanelli does not see that way.
"It's as if we were in a car at 430 kilometers per hour and we lowered our speed to 300 kilometers. Likewise, we are still seriously at risk of giving us a great stick. Because the maximum allowed is 50 kilometers. Lowering it from 48% to 30% per year means very little for the pocket of most, "he said.
The economist, who was president of the Central Bank of the Argentine Republic during the presidency of Eduardo Duhalde and now part of the ranks that Sergio Massa drives, said that "we must also focus on the That can happen with the price of the dollar, because if the exchange rate adjusts how the International Monetary Fund intends, next year we will have at least a 30% devaluation with a green bill It can reach 50 pesos by the end of 2019. "
But he immediately warned that "this picture is part of the most encouraging look possible, because if the exchange rate is triggered and international factors play, we can experience another unpleasant surprise."
Control of inflation
Referring to inflation as one of the problems that most affected the lives of Argentines this year, Pignanelli said that "we should not forget that last year for the same period the Macri government told us that we would have an inflation from 8% and we are finished in 2018 with more than 48% of inflation ".
"In this context, if we look at the most vulnerable sectors of the Argentine population, where the food basket has a great influence, we see that the inflation of the food sector has surpassed 50%, why we insist that the inflationary process It hurt harder for those who have less, "he exclaimed.
He then emphasized that "this record high level of inflation placed our country in the sad podium of the nations with the highest inflation in the world. Since Venezuela only surpasses us and we are fighting the second place with two countries that are at war like Sudan and Syria ".
Asked about whether the government of Maurici Macri could control inflation during 2019, Pignanelli said that "it is difficult to achieve it, because countries that had this type of inflation, such as Chile in the 80s or Israel and Mexico, are going To overcome it with political, social and economic agreements, because when the inertia of inflation comes in, each sector always issues a battle, what is called a distributive bundle, and then it is difficult to exit this vicious circle because it is a field who can where everyone loses. "
But, according to Pignanelli, the national government "has no will or capacity to achieve this level of comprehensive and comprehensive agreements that summon all parties to end inflation. I do not see intelligence or will to work in this sense by the current government management ".
The economist also stressed that "this year ends with an inflation of 48% and salaries adjusted between 25% and 28%. This means a loss of 20% with respect to inflation. Because the worker goes They increased their income by 28%, but the cost of living increased by 48%. You do not have to be too enlightened to understand why people do not get the money. Because inflation is devouring everything. "
"The government keeps lying us"
Asked about other looks of economists who think that 2019 will be a year of economic recovery for the country, Pignanelli responded with harshness.
"They are the same who said that this year's inflation would be 8% and that the dollar would not be worth more than $ 20. They are the same songs that lead us to an endless path. I do not have any respect for them because they permanently lie and they are also bought by the government. A government that instead of telling us the truth, keeps us lying. "
He then pointed out that "if people want to believe in colored mirrors, they will do it. Then the shock comes across the wall. When I give lectures or the street, people tell me" in the end you and Lavagna were right & # 39 We were three years preaching in the desert, saying we were taking the wrong path. Unfortunately we were right. I understand that it is more motivating to believe that things are going to improve. I have my family here and I want the country to move forward. To reactivate the economy, only good intentions are not reached. "
From the perspective of Pignanelli, "the result of the 2019 elections no longer depends on the government, which has very little margin of action, but rather depends on the opposition. The question that is To see is whether the opposition manages to raise a new option to the company, differentiating itself from the left that divides. If it does, it has many possibilities of reaching the government. "
"At this point I give them a very important role to the governors. In the role that they can achieve as superiors of this complicated instance," he concluded.