"Argentina Seeks IMF Help to Start New Inflation Index"

By Tom Duncan
"Argentina's government, in an unexpected shift toward economic pragmatism, said it was seeking technical assistance from the International Monetary Fund to design a new inflation index that could help restore credibility to official statistics. Economists said the IMF statistical input, coupled with Argentina's recent announcement that it would negotiate with the Paris Club of lender nations to pay about $7 billion in defaulted debt, suggest that President Cristina Kirchner may be moderating Argentina's prickly brand of populism after the death last month of her husband and political partner, Nestor Kirchner. Mr. Kirchner, who had served as the government's chief political and economic strategist before suffering a fatal heart attack, had been a fierce critic of the IMF for promoting market-oriented policies that he said led to Argentina's financial collapse in 2002. Mr. Kirchner, who preceded his wife as president, also replaced the professional statisticians who prepared the consumer price index with his handpicked loyalists in 2007. Private economists say that Argentina has been low-balling inflation ever since, and the annualized 11.1% inflation reported at the end of October understates the true rate by one-half to one-third." Read more."Argentina Seeks IMF Help to Start New Inflation Index"Matt Moffett and Ken Parks Wall Street Journal, November 23, 2010.Image by nuttakit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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