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Argentina hikes 2018 inflation target to 15% after failing previous objectives

President Mauricio Macri's government has hiked the 2018 inflation target to 15% from the previous 8% to 12% target, according to an official press release from Banco Central de la República Argentina.

In press conference on Dec. 28, Nicolás Dujovne said the government and the central bank had re-calibrated its inflation policy and essentially postponed it for a year. The target of reaching 5% inflation has now been set for the year 2020 instead of 2019, he added.

The move comes as the central bank has continued to struggle with curbing inflation, to meet the previous target, which resulted in climbing interest rates in the last quarter of 2017. The new target will allow the regulator to start decreasing its policy rate, which now stands at 28.75%, Federico Sturzenegger, the head of the central bank, said.

Despite these recent obstacles, Chief of Cabinet Marcos Peña insisted the Argentine economy was on the right path. "The economy started to grow again after a year of recession, and it grows in a sustainable way, which allows us to think of a path for next year. We also had a big fiscal challenge. Argentina needed to find a basic consensus because we can't live with deficit," Peña said.

Argentina's Senate approved the government's tax reform proposal and its 2018 budget, which anticipates economic expansion of 3.5% and average inflation of 15.7%.