Argentina Economic Forecast

Argentina Economic Outlook

October 9, 2018

President Mauricio Macri’s government and the IMF reached a new agreement on 26 September which provides further financial support and will most likely shield the country from any credit distress this year and next. The revised standby agreement (SBA), however, comes with conditions, most importantly including: a primary budgetary balance by 2019—one year earlier than stipulated in June’s SBA—and a strict monetary base rule to curb inflation. The latest fiscal data shows that, although the primary deficit narrowed by almost a third in January–August, interest payments surged. The SBA came after national accounts data showed that GDP shrunk dramatically in Q2, reflecting contractions in both domestic and external demand, compounded by the effects of a severe drought. That said, data on economic activity in July, without changing the broad picture, suggests some improvement, given that the pace of year-on-year contraction softened considerably in the month. However, other indicators point to prolonged economic weakness as demonstrated by consumer confidence, which continued to plunge in September, and the trade deficit, which widened further in August.

Argentina Economic Growth

There is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the performance of the Argentine economy in 2019. Not only will it depend on the success of the fiscal deficit and inflation reduction program agreed with the IMF; its fate also rests on the subsequent restoration of investor confidence and on achieving more solid macro fundamentals. That said, the contraction of the economy should ease significantly, thanks to growing agricultural output and increasing external demand, while domestic demand should remain weak due to high interest rates. LatinFocus Consensus Forecast analysts see the economy contracting 2.0% this year and a much softer 0.1% in 2019, down 0.8 percentage points from last month’s estimate.

Argentina Economy Data

Population (million)42.242.743.143.644.1
GDP per capita (USD)14,51113,13315,11112,50714,609
GDP (USD bn)614560652554644
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)2.4-2.52.7-1.82.9
Domestic Demand (annual variation in %)4.0-3.94.2-1.36.3
Consumption (annual variation in %)3.6-4.43.7-1.03.6
Investment (annual variation in %)2.3-6.83.5-4.911.3
Industrial Production (annual variation in %)0.0-1.80.4-4.61.8
Retail Sales (annual variation in %)26.737.327.326.220.8
Unemployment Rate7.
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-1.9-2.4-3.9-5.9-6.0
Public Debt (% of GDP)43.544.752.653.357.1
Money (annual variation in %)25.728.928.230.426.0
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)26.638.026.941.026.1
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)18.438.026.741.227.7
Inflation (PPI, annual variation in %)14.828.3-  -  -  
Benchmark Interest Rate (%)21.6320.3827.2519.8823.25
Stock Market (annual variation in %)88.959.136.144.977.7
Exchange Rate (vs USD)6.528.4612.9415.8618.60
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)32.6329.8352.8522.6017.30
Current Account (% of GDP)-2.1-1.6-2.6-2.7-4.8
Current Account Balance (USD bn)-13.0-8.9-16.8-15.0-30.8
Trade Balance (USD billion)1.53.2-3.02.1-8.5
Exports (USD billion)76.068.456.857.758.4
Imports (USD billion)74.465.259.855.666.9
Exports (annual variation in %)-5.0-9.9-
Imports (annual variation in %)9.5-12.4-8.4-6.920.3
International Reserves (USD)30.631.425.638.855.1
External Debt (% of GDP)25.929.026.134.736.2

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Argentina Facts

Bond Yield6.690.15 %Dec 17
Exchange Rate36.200.45 %Oct 17
Stock Market28,3702.26 %Oct 18

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