Argentine Economy Minister Roberto Lavagna, who played a key role in the country's recovery from its worst recession, has resigned.

Government officials say Mr. Lavagna stepped down Monday. They say he will be replaced by Felisa Miceli, head of the state-owned Banco Nacion.

Officials gave no reason for Mr. Lavaga's departure, but there have been media reports that President Nestor Kirchner asked for his resignation.

Mr. Lavagna took his job in 2002 under former President Eduardo Duhalde.

Argentina defaulted on more than $80 billion in debt in 2001, the biggest default ever by a sovereign nation.

The country's economy started growing again last year, and the government is predicting it will grow about eight percent this year.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.