Argentina’s Milei touts rare government surplus, argues ‘shock’ therapy is working

By Thomson Reuters Apr 22, 2024 | 8:02 PM

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Argentine President Javier Milei boasted on Monday that his government is successfully taming profligate public spending, touting a rare first quarter surplus that he argues is key to improving economic prospects in the Latin American nation.

“Our plan is working,” declared the libertarian leader in a televised address.

Milei took office in December pledging to enact an economic “shock” plan in a bid to lower triple-digit inflation and reverse a prolonged economic slump marked by the steady deterioration of the peso currency and growing poverty.

“I know the situation is difficult,” Milei added, “but we’re more than halfway there.”

Milei announced that his government had logged a financial fiscal surplus of more than 275 billion pesos ($315.4 million) in March.

For the first quarter, the surplus – the first of its kind since 2008 – represented 0.2% of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), the president noted.

“We’re going to give everything to pull this country out of the hell we inherited,” he said, attacking previous governments for the country’s dire economic straits.

($1 = 872.0000 Argentine pesos)

(Reporting by Jorge Otaola, Gabriel Araujo and Kylie Madry; Editing by David Alire Garcia)