IMF says Argentine data still unacceptable

The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday again found Argentina at fault for not doing enough to provide accurate economic data, but put off until December taking any possible action.

In a review of Argentina's progress since it was given six months in February to meet IMF data standards, the IMF executive board said it "regretted the lack of sufficient progress" by Argentina in implementing measures to bring its data reporting into compliance.

"The board took note of the ongoing dialogue between the IMF and the authorities regarding the measures, and called on Argentina to implement the measures without delay," it said in a statement.

The board gave Buenos Aires another three months, until December 17, when it will again review the issue. At that time the board "may consider additional steps based on Argentina's response, and in line with IMF procedures," it warned.

The IMF and Argentina have been battling over Buenos Aires's widely questioned official data on inflation and gross domestic product since 2011.

Failure to meet IMF rules can lead to sanctions, including the extreme of suspending a member's voting rights.

In July 2011 the IMF gave Argentina 180 days to improve the quality of the statistics, which it is obliged to provide the Washington-based global lender.

But rather than take action, in February the IMF gave the country another 180 days to measure up.

The IMF and Argentina have a long history of troubled relations, with successive governments blaming the Fund for domestic economic failures and the country's deep troubles in international debt markets.

In January 2006 the government paid off Argentina's debt with the IMF -- some $9.5 billion -- and cut links with the Fund.

But at the end of 2010 the IMF was invited back to assist with collection and formulation of economic data, leading to the current impasse.

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