UPDATE 2-Argentina finance minister sees GDP growth accelerating from 2017
(Adds analyst's comment, former president's tweets)
By Maximiliano Rizzi and Hugh Bronstein
BUENOS AIRES Jan 14 (Reuters) - Argentina's economy will edge higher this year as the new government lifts interventionist controls, fueling growth of about 4.5 percent annually between 2017 and 2019, Finance Minister Alfonso Prat-Gay said on Thursday.
The minister called the estimates a "working hypothesis". Argentina's new center-right government, which took office just December, inherited a stagnant economy with double digit inflation, falling exports and low foreign reserves.
"We expect Argentina to return to growth this year after the second half of last year was quite complicated," Prat-Gay told reporters. "We estimate between 0.5 and 1 percent this year."
Under free markets believer President Mauricio Macri, the government has moved fast to unravel a complex web of controls imposed on Latin America's third-largest economy by the previous administration, aiming to boost exports and investment.
It has floated the peso currency, ended capital restrictions, cut some export taxes and set guidelines for consolidating the large fiscal deficit, earning market praise.
Argentina's country risk has dropped to below that of Brazil on the JP Morgan Emerging Markets Bond Index Plus.
Beyond tackling interventionism, the government has also sought to shore up the country's foreign reserves. Continuación...