Argentina’s economy grew 1.3% inter-annually up to March 2023, according to the latest report published by the National Statistics and Census Institute (INDEC, by its Spanish acronym).
When compared to February 2023, the economy grew 0.1%, after accounting for season variables, and showed a 1.5% accumulated growth in the first trimester of the year, according to the report, the Monthly Estimator of Economic Activity (EMAE, its Spanish acronym).
Twelve economic sectors grew in March, with water, gas and electricity at the top of the list, with a 13.6% growth in year-to-year activity, according to the report. Mine and quarry exploitation was in second place, with 12.1%. When it comes to the effects on the economy as a whole, the manufacturing sector had the largest positive impact, with 3.1% interannual growth. Wholesale and retail was second, with 3.6%.
Construction (3.2%) and hotels and restaurants (5.5%) also showed strong growth.
However, three sectors contracted compared with March 2022. At the top of the list was Agriculture, hunting, cattle, and forestry with a 12% drop, mainly due to the severe drought Argentina has been suffering since last year.
Given the importance of these sectors for the Argentine economy, their decline brought growth down by 1.1 percentage points, according to the report.
Fishing was another sector that had a steep fall, with 15.1%. Transportation and communication also experienced a drop (1%).
In March, Argentina had a US$1.059 billion trade deficit, with US$5.723 billion of exports against US$6.782 billion of imports. The first trimester of 2023 resulted in a US$1.290 billion trade deficit, a fall from the US$1.386 surplus it had during the same period of 2022.
According to the 2023 Budget, the projected economic growth for 2023 was 2%. However, the severe drought affecting Argentina’s agricultural exports has caused many to shift their projections, including the IMF: in April, it said the country would grow only 0.2% in 2023.
-With information from Télam