At the invitation of the entity’s president, Daniel Funes de Rioja, the Minister of Economy, Sergio Massa, will share a lunch today with the small table of the Argentine Industrial Union (UIA), in a meal that will have two thorny issues: the lack of dollars for the production of the plants and the level of high prices that the production is transferring. The national official will be accompanied by the Secretary of Industry, José Ignacio De Mendiguren, former president of the factory and who has been following the sector’s agenda.
As told to Page I12 sources close to Massa, his idea is that the industry has all the dollars necessary to not stop production, that activity levels do not fall and employment does not suffer. “It’s a political decision,” they describe. “We have plenty of demand, but if there is no currency, there are sectors that are going to end up stopping,” a leader of the entity explained to this newspaper. Is that the issue of claiming dollars for imported supplies is no longer the sole heritage of the sectors of the UIA historically at odds with the Government, but it is experienced even by SMEs.
“We are holding down the claims for lack of supplies,” said another of the UIA priests. In the Government, for its part, they assure that “there is no risk of paralysis of production.” They say so based on reports from the Ministry of Labor that they do not have in the short term situations of productive stoppage or suspension of employees. Regarding the activity, they affirm that a collapse or forward is not seen: the advanced index for August, which was prepared by the CEP XXI, a center for studies of the productive portfolio, gave a year-on-year rise of 4.8 and 1.6 month-to-month .
The industrialists assure that they have already had, without success, meetings and talks with the Secretary of Commerce, Matías Tombolini, but that the deadlines are shortening. In the Government they admit that foreign currency is scarce, but that Massa is willing to make the factories a priority.
According to what they assure in Industry, the end of the winter season should result, in the October-May period, in a relaxation of the tension on currencies entirely related to the fall in energy imports, which were the cause of the loss of reserves of the Central Bank (BCRA). “There is not going to be a total normalization, but there will be less tension,” they explain.
On the other hand, the other hot topic is how the industry is working on its pricing policy. They say that Tombolini has two very harsh reports on his desk: one on the values of the food industry and another on steel prices, prepared by Flacso, which has impressive numbers. Massa goes to the UIA with the idea of claiming from the industries that if they want the government to support them and guarantee them the dollars, they should moderate their prices. “There will be a message to price makers,” they anticipate.
At that same table there will, in fact, be leaders of the textile sector, an item that comes with increases out of context and that should have a meeting with the Government this week to commit to reducing the remark. The problem is that Massa wants immediate moderation, something that is not being seen: the Ecolatina consulting firm, in the IPC GBA that measures Capital and 24 suburban districts, reported in the first fifteen days of the month a general price rise of 7.3 percent, with food growing at 6.4 and Textiles with a rise of 17.7 percent. It is not the only industry that is targeted by the Government due to prices, but it is an example of a problem that is directly related to activity levels.