Argentina Relaxes Key Inflation Targets

By Santiago Perez and Alberto MesserFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Argentina's government loosened key inflation targets Thursday as the administration of President Mauricio Macri struggles to contain price increases and bolster the country's economy.

Finance Minister Nicolas Dujovne said the government's new inflation goals "don't represent a change in policy," but an update to provide realistic economic objectives.

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The government's initial plan to cut inflation to 5% by 2019 was moved to the following year. It now targets inflation of 15% next year and 10% in 2019.

The Macri administration's fight against inflation--a key policy priority--has faced significant challenges as it eliminated subsidies across the economy and lifted foreign-exchange controls. Consumer prices rose about 21% this year, above the official inflation target of 17%.

High interest rates and a broad overhaul of the economy to fight stubborn inflation have also affected consumption and growth, fueling social unrest.

Mr. Dujovne said at a press conference that the country's economy likely expanded between 2.8% and 3% in 2017. Gross domestic product is expected to rise between 3% and 3.5% in coming years, he added.

Write to Santiago Perez at santiago.perez@wsj.com and Alberto Messer at alberto.messer@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 28, 2017 12:01 ET (17:01 GMT)