Economic activity collapsed 6.8 percent in March interannually – an 11th consecutive month of decline – and fell 1.3% percent with respect to February, the INDEC national statistics bureau revealed this week.
The economy has contracted by 5.7 percent in the first quarter of 2019, INDEC revealed, posting data for its Monthly Estimator of Economic Activity (EMAE). The bureau’s monthly indicator anticipates the evolution of GDP, with those figures dispersed later after more thorough study.
With the exception of the agriculture (which increased by 10.8 percent in March), education (improved by one percent), and healthcare services (up 0.2 percent), all other sectors recorded negative growth.
Financial services, which decreased by 13.9 percent, and retail and wholesale trade, which dropped 14.6 percent, recorded their biggest drops in three years. Manufacuting activity shrank by 13.2 percent, with construction down 7.1 percent.
Argentina entered recession in 2018, with Gross Domestic Product (GDP) shrinking 2.5 percent.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF), which handed Argentina a US$56-billion credit line amid a currency crisis that began last March, previously predicted that the economy would contract by 1.2 percent this year, but recently said it would likely correct that number to a more negative outlook.
INDEC’s seasonally adjusted index, measured month by month, in January registered a rise of 0.5 percent compared to December 2018, and 0.1 percent in February compared to January, but the trend slowed down to fall by 1.3 percent in March compared to February.
In Argentina, Latin America’s third-largest economy, year-on-year inflation up to April showed an increase of 55.8 percent. Unemployment reached 9.1 percent in the last quarter of 2018, after an increase of 1.9 percentage points in the year-on-year comparison.
INDEC’s poverty data also reflects an increase from 25.7 percent to 32.0% percent between the second half of 2017 and the same period of 2018.