Argentina: Exports continue to moderate in January
February 22, 2012
In January, exports rose 9.6% over the same month last year, which was below the 13.9% expansion seen in December. The result marked the first time exports expanded at a single-digit pace since March 2010. A month-on-month comparison, however, does not corroborate the deceleration suggested by the annual figures, as exports expanded 1.9% on a seasonally adjusted basis, which contrasted a 3.9% drop in December. Imports, meanwhile, grew 9.8% annually in January, which was below the 11.1% expansion registered in December. As a result, the trade surplus widened from USD 280 million in December to USD 551 million in January, which marked, nonetheless, the second lowest result seen in a year. The Argentinean external sector is experiencing increasing difficulties amid slowing demand from its main trade partners, in particular Brazil. In addition, the economy is suffering from continued rise in fuel imports, as Argentina has become a net energy importer in recent years. Against this backdrop, economic authorities are stepping up measures to curb import growth and boost the trade surplus. On 22 February, economic authorities approved a new regulation effective on 1 April according to which Argentinean residents will have to get government approval before offering or paying offshore services with a cost higher or equal to USD 100,000. The regulation covers various types of services, ranging from consulting to distribution rights for films and music. Government will also have to approve services offered or paid in installments of USD 10,000 or more and contracts of undetermined value.
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions