May 19, 2013
Argentine economy grows 3.2 %
Argentina’s economy expanded by 3.2 percent in January from a year earlier after growing just 1.9 percent in 2012, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner said during a live televised speech yesterday.
“We have to make a joint effort,” said the President, adding that in the coming days “we must get together and talk over if we free imports for some specific products.”
“Importers should not get excited. We will carry out a system where they do not get to keep the difference,” so the products do “reach the people,” said the President during an act at the Governent House.
The INDEC statistics bureau is due to release the EMAE economic activity index data for January today. A poll of nine analysts yielded a median growth forecast of 1.7 percent year-on-year
Trade surplus shrinks
Argentina’s February trade surplus shrank 61 percent from a year earlier to US$521 million as imports surged, led by fuel purchases from abroad, the INDEC statistics bureau said yesterday.
Last month’s figure was just above the US$500 million median estimate given by seven analysts in a poll. Their forecasts ranged widely from US$402 million to US$1.39 billion.
Exports fell 6 percent in February versus the same month last year, while imports rose 10 percent on the back of a 33 percent jump in fuel purchases and a 19 percent increase in imported parts and accessories for capital goods.
Growth in Argentina’s economy slowed sharply last year due to sluggish global demand, high inflation, a poor grain harvest and the impact of government import and currency controls on business confidence and investment.
A drought slashed soybean and corn output in the 2011-12 crop year, reducing shipments abroad from Argentina, a key global grains supplier.
January’s trade surplus shrank 49 percent year-on-year to US$280 million as imports grew for the first time since sweeping government controls were put in place in February 2012.
The curbs were meant to bolster the trade surplus, a key source of foreign currency in a country that uses international reserves to pay debt. Argentina has been virtually locked out of global credit markets since its massive debt default in 2002. The country’s trade surplus totalled US$1.34 billion in February 2012.
— Herald with DyN, Telam, Reuters