Argentina’s economy shrinks in the fourth quarter, deepens recession

By Thomson Reuters Mar 20, 2024 | 2:29 PM

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Argentina’s economy shrunk 1.4% in the fourth-quarter compared to a year earlier, the country’s statistics agency said on Wednesday, slightly beating analysts’ forecast of a 1.5% contraction but deepening the recession it entered the prior quarter.

The country’s quarterly gross domestic product (GDP) was particularly burdened by declines in the manufacturing industry and the utilities sector, with 6.0% and 5.1% year-on-year falls respectively over the period.

Argentina’s economy contracted 1.6% for the full year of 2023, compared to the year before, according to the statistics agency report.

The data comes as Argentina ushered in a new governmen last December, with libertarian President Javier Milei battling to turn around rampant inflation and a deep deficit with austerity measures that include painful cuts to state spending.

The country is facing world’s highest inflation as the 12-month rate stands over 270%, while a rising poverty figure heads toward 60%.

(Reporting by Hernan Nessi and Aida Pelaez-Fernandez; Editing by Sarah Morland)