Arab Today, arab today imf gives argentina timetable to improve data
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IMF gives Argentina timetable to improve data

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Arab Today, arab today IMF gives Argentina timetable to improve data

Washington - AFP

The International Monetary Fund on Monday gave Argentina a timetable to improve its data on inflation and economic growth, after censuring the country last year for shoddy statistics. The IMF executive board reviewed a report on Argentina's progress in fixing the quality of its data for the consumer price index for Greater Buenos Aires and the nation's gross domestic product and found the South American country had come up short in meeting its year-end deadline. "While noting that Argentina has not adopted the measures called for by the Fund to address the inaccurate provision of CPI-GBA and GDP data, the Executive Board recognized Argentina's ongoing work and intention to introduce a new national CPI in early 2014" and work to improve its GDP data, the IMF said in a statement. The board called on Argentina "to implement specified actions to address the quality of its official CPI and GDP data according to a specified timetable." After a critical report on Argentina last year, the board took the unprecedented step of censuring an IMF member, saying the country had made insufficient efforts to meet its standards for inflation and GDP data. The board gave Buenos Aires the rest of 2013 to improve its statistics. The censure decision has the potential to open the way for the Latin American country to lose its voting rights or membership at the IMF. The IMF board on Monday set the end of next March for Argentina to take an initial set of specified actions, including the public release of a new national CPI and revised GDP estimates. Further actions must be implemented by end-September 2014 and end-February 2015. Within 45 days of each deadline, the managing director must give the board a progress report. "The Fund notes the importance of the ongoing discussions with the Argentine authorities to improve the quality of Argentina's official CPI and GDP data and stands ready to continue this dialogue," the Washington-based global lender said. Government critics in Argentina long have said that the government vastly understates inflation and overstates growth for political and other ends. In October, the official annual inflation rate stood at 10.3 percent, while a group of private-sector economists put the figure at 26 percent. Relations between the IMF and Argentina have been troubled for years. In January 2006, the government paid off Argentina's debt with the IMF -- some $9.5 billion -- and cut links with the Fund. Since then Argentina has been the only country in the Group of 20 that does not allow annual economic assessments by official IMF teams.

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