Argentina’s economic activity level increased 9.1% in the first four months of the year compared to the same period of 2010 fuelled by domestic consumption, manufacturing and international trade, according to the country’s Statistics and Census Office, Indec.
The Economic Activity Monthly Estimate, EMAE, advanced 7.1% over April last year and 0.7% over March.
With the April result, Argentina’s GDP has been growing sustainedly for the last 20 months, since August 2009 when the world financial crisis reached the country.
According to the latest estimates from the IMF Argentina is forecasted to expand 6% in 2011, behind Peru’s, 6.3% and Chile’s 6.2%. Nevertheless Argentine president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has repeatedly stated that 7.5% to 8% is “more to the mark”.
In 2010, economic activity was 9.2% a strong rebound from the 0.9% of 2009.
Private economic consultant Orlando J Ferreres & Associates said that during April the
Argentine economy expanded 6.2% compared to a year ago and 7.2% in the first four months of 2011.
”In the first four months (of the year) industrial output grew faster than GDP”, said Jose Luis Espert, an economist at consulting firm Espert & Associates.
We've also had a good trade performance thanks to an excellent grains season in 2010, Espert said.
Whatever the correct figures, foreign trade had a significant impact in April’s performance, imports soared 38% over a year ago totalling 5.6bn US dollars while exports reached 6.9bn, up 12%.
Domestic consumption, particularly sales in retail chains jumped 16.4% in April compared to a year ago, but there is also ‘greater caution’ from buyers who tend to wait for sales and rebates no to overload their credit cards.
Another private economic consultant Ecolatina estimates private consumption in Argentina during 2011 will expand by 6%.
Manufacturing in April increased 8% compared to the same month a year ago and accumulates 9% expansion in the first four months of 2011. This was boosted mainly by the auto industry, up 21.8% which also had an impact in steel, up 9.7%; 9.9% in tyres and 8% for aluminium.
Another sector with excellent performance was cement, up 17.4%; plastic, 10.6%; pharmaceutical products, 10.4% and textile fibres, 8.6%.
Construction activity also increased in April, 9.8% over the same month in 2010. Indec said that construction activity expanded 9.8% in the first four months of the year compared to Jan-April 2011.
High global commodities prices are helping fuel growth in Argentina, the world's biggest exporter of soy-oil and soy-meal and the global No. 2 corn provider after the United States.