Economy

Argentina's GDP falls 5.4% in the first quarter

According to Indec, also in the first quarter, unemployment rose to 10.4%, compared to 8.9% in the previous quarter

Pesos, the currency of Argentina. Photo: Shutterstock.

Argentina’s economy contracted 5.4% in the first quarter of this year, compared to the same period last year, according to the country’s Institute of Statistics and Censuses (Indec). When compared to the previous quarter, the fall was slightly smaller, 4.8%.

Also in the first quarter, unemployment rose to 10.4%, compared to 8.9% in the previous quarter.

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“The quarantine, which started in mid-March, caused the contraction to be greater than expected”, said Andrés Borenstein, from Econviews consultancy to Valor Econômico newspaper. Before the COVID-19 crisis, the expert’s forecast was a little bit more optimistic: a drop of 2% in the first quarter.

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There was a 6.6% drop in private consumption, in the annual comparison, and a 0.7% fall in public consumption. Regarding the gross fixed capital formation, an important indicator for private investment, the decline is pronounced: 18.3% compared to the first quarter of 2019. During the first three months of 2020, exports decreased by 4.7% in Argentina, and imports fell by 16%.