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Several consulting firms will stop sending their economic projections to the Central

2021-05-06T07:52:44.573Z

Eco Go, Invecq, LCG, Fiel and Arriazu, among others, abandoned REM, the official survey of economic expectations.



Damien Kantor

05/05/2021 6:01 AM

  • Clarín.com

  • Economy

Updated 05/05/2021 11:16

The economists are in a deliberative state, in

a climate almost of rebellion

. As a result of

the growing official criticisms,

several of them

stopped participating in the REM

(Survey of Market Expectations), which is prepared by the Central Bank based on the projections of private consultants. The list was expanded in recent days after the statements of the Minister of Economy, Martín Guzmán, who

blamed them for "generating an unrealistic inflationary expectation, with their crazy projections

." It was the drop that overflowed the glass and reheated the chats throughout the guild.

"It bothers us that instead of being used as another tool of economic policy,

they use it to find culprits for inflation,

" said Guido Lorenzo, from LCG, one of the last to desist from sending her forecasts on the main economic variables. In this regard, Lorenzo added: "It seems that they punish us for making an analysis that is requested by the BCRA and from which we do not receive any consideration

other than grievances

."

The REM is a thermometer that reveals the main economic variables

. Through surveys compiled by the Central, local and foreign economists and analysts send their projections on

inflation, the dollar, growth and fiscal accounts

, among others. From there come the averages for the short and medium term, which are disseminated monthly. In the last year, several consulting

firms have been terminated,

including

Eco Go, Invecq, Ledesma and Seidos

. And more recently,

LCG, Fiel and Arriazu Macroanalistas

. "We are analyzing it," they slipped from Ecolatina.

The bad weather against economic forecasts started at the beginning of last year. From Eco Go, they point out that they left the REM when "the then president of the BCRA (Miguel Pesce) recommended that the consulting

firms adjust their" predictive models

. "Today, in the face of inflation expectations at 50%, and in the face of the attempt to coordinate the nominality at 30%,

the Government launched a coordinated attack on the REM

. The objective is to

disqualify the projections of the consulting firms in general

and a chorus of adepts begin to attack with first and last names ", they pointed out.

Another aspect that caused discomfort is the publication of a ranking of hits. "This undermines the effectiveness of the tool, because it generates

biased analysis

of consulting

firms

to avoid being left out of the ranking, and

can be used as a defamation weapon,

" explains Esteban Domecq, an economist at Invecq. With a more diplomatic tone, from Arriazu they indicated that "it makes no sense to participate when the purpose of the REM is to hit the guidelines of the economic policy maker."

As a background, there are some who fear possible retaliation if their projections differ too much from the official ones. "If the Central wants to relieve market expectations and asks us for information to do so and then questions it, then

it makes no sense to participate

," they explained from Fiel, who is no longer part of REM. However, there are voices that disagree with these assessments. Ricardo Delgado of Analytica disagrees with the decisions of his colleagues. "

I observe that there is a lot of susceptibility

. The ranking is perfectible, logically, but I believe in the importance of improving public information because it always contributes to the general debate."

Economists for the most part maintain that in this context of official questions, the REM was

losing relevance

for economic decision-making. The director of Ledesma, Gabriel Caamaño Gómez, admits that "this is not the first government that gets angry because the projections do not coincide with its inflation goals. What does exist now is

a very explicit lowering of the line

to calibrate the calculation models. ". This consulting firm stopped responding to the Central's questionnaires a year ago, not only for that reason. "Today, in a context

without clear economic definitions

, it is very difficult to project and get the main variables right," he concludes.

In spite of everything, from the Central they rule out a massive flight of consultants. They even point out that this year, the average participation in REM was almost unchanged. They say that during the government of Cambiemos there was an average participation of 51 analysts per month, with a minimum of 19 to a maximum of 59. Between December 2019 and January 2020 there were 40 effective participants each month. In February, when the development of the REM ranking was announced, with the report of errors (failed forecasts), they assure that the figure remained the same. "The ranking may have caused annoyances but not a drop in participation," they noted.

Source: clarin

All business articles on 2021-05-06

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