Argentina's economic activity grew in January year to year. Economic activity was 1.1% percent higher in January than twelve months before, the first year-on-year growth since last March, according to the latest release from the revamped stats office, Indec.
The economy contracted 0.5% from December, however, which showed the recovery was still fragile after the economy grew month-on-month in November and December.
Center-right President Mauricio Macri's administration is hoping an economic recovery ahead of midterm elections in October can boost flagging approval ratings. Macri has also said he wants to be evaluated based on his progress in reducing the ranks of the poor toward his stated goal of zero poverty.
Argentina's economy grew 0.1% in the third quarter and 0.5% in the fourth quarter, emerging from a sharp recession in the first half. The economy was flat in December compared with December 2015, an upward revision from Indec's prior estimate for a 0.1% contraction.
After taking office in December 2015, Macri began a revamp of Indec, which was accused of manipulating data under previous populist President Cristina Fernandez.
Macri has implemented market-friendly policies designed to cut the fiscal deficit and attract foreign investment. Some of those policies, including a reduction in subsidies for electricity and gas, contributed to inflation of more than 40% last year.
The economy fell 2.3% in 2016 overall. Foreign investment has been slow to arrive, but the Macri government has boosted infrastructure spending this year in a bid to jump-start the economy toward its goal of 3.5% growth in 2017. Economists see it slightly lower at 3%.