November 11, 2016 / 7:37 PM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 1-Argentina's cenbank head sees more protectionism with Trump

(Recasts with comments on U.S. election)

SANTIAGO, Nov 11 (Reuters) - An increase in global protectionism and a rise in the U.S. budget deficit are likely effects from the surprise win by Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential election, Argentine central bank head Federico Sturzenegger said on Friday.

On the domestic side, he said Argentina will need to keep working to get inflation down further and not be content with progress made so far.

Reacting to Trump’s election, he said, “There are two things one can anticipate. On the one hand, a bit more protectionism, in trade of goods or flows of people, probably more the latter.

“When you close an economy, its real exchange rate appreciates. ... And I say thank God that we have floating exchange rates,” he added, speaking at a central bankers’ conference in Chile’s capital Santiago.

From 1991 to 2002, Argentine’s peso was pegged to the dollar, a situation that would have been “really bad” had it been the case today, Sturzenegger said.

He also questioned whether it was wise to “put more resources into fiscal.”

“That means they’re going to come from somewhere else. And is that the most growth-enhancing allocation of your resources that you can have?” Sturzenegger said. “I see it quite absent in the macroeconomic discussion.”

Trump, a real estate magnate and reality TV star with no political experience, has vowed to cut taxes after he takes office in January.

In Argentina, Latin America’s third-largest economy, President Mauricio Macri won office last year on a free-markets platform, in contrast to the former populist administration.

The economic revival Macri promised has been slow to arrive, although the rate of inflation, which had been among the world’s highest, has seen signs of cooling in recent months.

However, there is “no room for complacency”, said Sturzenegger.

“For us, it’s just the beginning of the battle,” he said.

Economists expect inflation of 39.4 percent in 2016 and 19.7 percent in 2017, though the central bank is targeting a range of between 12 percent and 17 percent next year. (Reporting by Rosalba O’Brien and Anthony Esposito; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Leslie Adler)

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