Argentina’s economic activity rose for the first time in over a year in May, reported Mercopress this week. The 2.6% rise versus the same month a year ago topped even the most optimistic estimates from analysts, and broke a run of 12 consecutive months of falling economic activity, said the media site last Friday.
The monthly growth will come as welcome news for President Mauricio Macri, who is looking to dig the country out of a crippling recession ahead of presidential elections later this year.
Argentina’s Treasury said the rise was due to strong growth from the farming sector, which it said was up nearly 50% versus a year ago, as well as improvements in sectors including transport, industry, commerce and construction.
“Looking forward, it is expected the agricultural campaign, which unlike 2018 enjoyed good weather conditions, will continue to contribute to growth,” the ministry said, adding better salaries and lower inflation should also help.
The Ministry also reports a more stable peso and lower inflation. Argentina’s economic activity fell 1.3% in April after a 6.9% drop in March, and had been contracting for over a year amid an economic crisis that has hit the peso currency and driven up inflation.
In another positive development, Argentina delivered a higher than expected trade surplus of US$1.06 billion in June, the government statistics agency INDEC said, compared with a deficit of US$322 million in the same month a year ago.
Bolstered by a weak local peso currency, Argentina also posted a trade surplus of US$ 1.373 billion in May.