The bad news for the Argentine economy keeps coming. In the seventh month of the year, economic activity in the country plunged 5.9 percent, compared to July of 2015, according to the government’s INDEC statistics agency. That is a much more pronounced decline than analysts were expecting and the largest since the 2009 international financial crisis. A Reuters poll of analysts, for example, had forecast that the EMAE economic activity index would drop 3.1 percent in July.
The EMAE index, which is a reliable proxy for GDP, thus marked its fourth consecutive month of year-on-year declines after the plunge of 4.7 percent it registered in June. In the first seven months of the year, economic activity has contracted 2.3 percent, compared to the same period last year.
The biggest culprit in this sharp decline of economic activity? A drop in demand and a decline in manufacturing output. The industrial sector plunged 7.9 percent in July, compared to last year, in large part due to the continuing crisis in Brazil that has kept on affecting demand for Argentine products. Construction was also a bright-red spot in the month, seeing a plunge of 23.1 percent, on the year.
Sales in supermarkets, meanwhile, rose only 30 percent on the year, which may look good on its face but is around 12 points lower than the inflation of around 42 percent during the period.