Argentina: Economic growth picks up in fourth quarter
March 18, 2011
In the fourth quarter, GDP rose 9.2% over the same period the year before. The reading represented an acceleration compared to the 8.6% increase recorded in the previous quarter and beat market analysts' expectations of an 8.2% rise. The acceleration was driven by a stronger domestic sector, while the contribution to growth of the external sector deteriorated compared to the previous quarter. Total consumption added 10.9% over the same quarter of the previous year, up from the 8.8% increase recorded in the third quarter of 2010. Meanwhile, gross fixed investment increased a robust 24.7%, following an even stronger 26.6% rise in the third quarter. Meanwhile, exports of goods and services grew 7.4% (Q3 2010: +27.8), while imports added 32.7% (Q3: +37.4%). As imports markedly outpaced imports, the net contribution from the external sector to overall growth deteriorated from minus 0.9 percentage points in the third quarter to minus 3.1 percentage points in the fourth. At the sector level, the reading was driven by a strong improvement in the agricultural sector, which grew 10.6% in the fourth quarter, up from the 6.4% print in the third. Meanwhile, services expanded 8.2%, up from the 7.4% rise in the third quarter. Finally, industry increased 9.0% (Q3: +9.7% yoy). A quarter-on-quarter analysis corroborates the acceleration seen in annual figures, as GDP expanded 2.54% over the previous quarter in seasonally adjusted terms, after having increased a meagre 0.67% in the third quarter. In the full year 2010, the economy expanded 9.2%, up strongly from the paltry 0.9% rise recorded in 2009. The Central Bank sees the economy growing 6.0% this year.
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions