May 22, 2013
Argentina’s industrial production still shrinking
Argentina’s industrial production is seen falling 0.6 percent year-on-year in December, improving from the previous month but reflecting continued sluggishness.
Nine analysts polled by Reuters gave disparate estimates for last month’s industrial activity, ranging from a 1.6 percent decline to a 3.1 percent increase. The median was for a decline of 0.6 percent.
“We expect industrial production to remain in negative territory (in December), as the pick-up in car production in the last months of 2012 will not offset the sharp drop in construction inputs and basic metals,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in its weekly Latin America research note.
In November, Argentine industrial production dropped 1.4 percent from a year earlier in non-seasonally adjusted terms.
Output fell from April through September and rebounded onlybriefly in October.
The declines stemmed in part from a downturn in the auto industry, which depends heavily on exports to Brazil. But tough import rules also played a role by delaying the entry of some foreign-made parts, while currency controls hurt investment.
Automobile production jumped 16.4 percent in December from a year earlier while exports rose 11.6 percent, data from private carmaker group ADEFA showed.
In 2012 as a whole, auto production shrank 7.8 percent.
Growth in Argentina’s economy slowed sharply in 2012 after booming during most of the previous nine years.
In December 2011, industrial output rose 2.2 percent year-on-year.