Argentina’s Economic Activity Shrinks for Fourth Month

(Bloomberg) -- Argentina’s economic activity contracted for the fourth straight month in a fresh sign that one of South America’s largest countries is barreling toward recession amid fast inflation and heightened political uncertainty.

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Economic activity fell 0.2% in June from a month earlier, according to government data published Wednesday. The economy shrank 4.4% from a year prior, more than the 3.7% contraction expected by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. May’s monthly drop was also revised lower, to -0.6% from -0.1%.

Argentina’s economy is being slammed by annual inflation running over 100%, while agriculture output has been curbed by a devastating drought. Overall exports plunged by 35.8% in June from a year ago. Complicating matters further, political uncertainty is running high ahead of October’s presidential vote after outsider Javier Milei finished first in a recent primary.

Read more: Argentina Expects IMF to Approve $7.5 Billion Disbursement (1)

Economists surveyed by Argentina’s central bank expect gross domestic product to shrink 2.8% this year, followed by another decline in 2024. The estimates were gathered before the surprising primary election result on Aug. 13 that was followed by an 18% devaluation of the official currency.

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