IMF says sending team to Argentina ‘soon’

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is continuing discussions with Argentina and will send a mission to Buenos Aires in the near future, an IMF spokesperson said Tuesday.

“We are closely following recent developments in Argentina and are in ongoing dialogue with the authorities as they work on their policy plans to address the difficult situation that the country is facing,” IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said in a statement.

“An IMF staff team will travel to Buenos Aires soon,” he added

The country's economic crisis took a turn for the worse last week after President Mauricio Macri suffered a devastating loss in primary elections, and his economic minister resigned as currency plunged in value.

Ratings agencies downgraded Argentina's debt on Friday, as investors fled the country and the outlook deteriorated.

Populist Peronist candidate Alberto Fernandez, now the clear favorite to unseat Macri, has questioned the reform program backed by a $56 billion IMF rescue package.

He said the country is “virtually” in default and should renegotiate the IMF loan.

The IMF had praised the Macri administration's performance, and said the belt-tightening reforms were starting to yield results that would spur economic growth.

The fund has released just over $44 billion so far as part of the three-year loan program, but many economists have said the amount is not enough to stem the tide of Argentina's economic woes.

Macri's newly-installed Economy Minister Hernan Lacunza early Tuesday pledged to stabilize the currency and hold the line on the government's finances.

“Guaranteeing the exchange rate is a first-order objective,” Lacunza told reporters. “We will guarantee compliance with the fiscal targets.”