Argentina’s Economy Snaps Growth Streak, Contracting in February
Argentina’s economy shrank in February from January, snapping a nine-month growth streak following a historic plunge triggered by the pandemic.
Economic activity fell 1% on a monthly basis in February, the first contraction since last April, according to government data published Thursday. From a year ago, the economy contracted 2.6%, more than the 2.3% decline economists had projected.
The country’s already fragile recovery is facing headwinds as a new wave of the pandemic surges nationwide, with new Covid-19 cases shattering previous records. Argentina recently surpassed more than 60,000 deaths from the virus as total cases near 2.8 million. President Alberto Fernandez’s government implemented new restrictions to circulation in April, forcing most citizens to stay at home between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. daily.
ARGENTINA REACT: Feb. Activity Slide Interrupts Covid Recovery
The economy didn’t gain much momentum in March either. Amid accelerating inflation, Argentina’s trade surplus narrowed last month as a surge in imports ebbed at export growth. The $400 million trade surplus was half of that seen in January or February.
Argentina’s economy is expected to grow this year for first time since 2017. Economists forecast gross domestic product to increase 6.7% in 2021, while inflation could end the year at 46%.
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