November 23, 2017 / 10:47 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Argentina inflation likely to end 2017 above 21 pct -minister

(Adds quote, comments about planned debt issuance)

BUENOS AIRES, Nov 23 (Reuters) - Argentina’s inflation rate will likely end the year above 21 percent, Treasury Minister Nicolas Dujovne told reporters on Thursday.

The government previously estimated that consumer prices in Latin America’s third-biggest economy would rise 21 percent in 2017.

“Inflation is falling,” Dujovne told a news conference. “Last year, we had inflation of about 37 percent. It will be much less this year and much lower still in the year ahead.”

The minister also said 2018 was the last year in which the government planned to issue “significant amounts” of foreign debt.

He did not provide details on Argentina’s planned borrowing.

“As long as the deficit is falling, we will have to issue less debt each year,” he said.

The government expects a fiscal shortfall of 4.0 percent of gross domestic product this year, 3.2 percent in 2018, 2.2 percent in 2019 and 1.2 percent in 2020.

Reporting by Eliana Raszewski, Writing by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Susan Thomas and Peter Cooney

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