Argentine economic activity in September and for the fourth month running showed signs of a slight recovery, according to the latest index from private consultants Orlando J Ferreres & Asociados, OJF, released Monday.
The OJF general activity index in September rose 0.3% on the month, but was down 5.1% on the year. The index has posted growth averaging 0.5% over each of the last four months.
The index is expected to start to show a more pronounced recovery during the last quarter of this year, due mainly to the weak numbers posted in the fourth quarter of 2008, when the effect of the international financial crisis began to be felt, OJF said.
In September, year-on-year growth was posted in the electricity, gas and water sectors. Almost all other sectors continue to show steep declines, OJF said.
According to the index, farm sector activity in September was down 16% on the year, mainly due to drought. Industrial manufacturing activity in September was down 10.5% on the year, but is expected to improve in the following months due to a recovery in car sales to Brazil.
In related news Argentina's September trade surplus is expected to narrow 31% compared to the same month a year ago, the fourth consecutive monthly fall due to slack export demand.
According to Reuters, a survey of eight local analysts gave both a median and an average forecast for a surplus of 1.12 billion US dollars.
Compared with the same period a year ago, there's a reduction in exports, both in terms of volume and in terms of prices. That's also the case with imports, which though slightly stronger during the last month are still lower, said Rodolfo Rossi, an economist and former central bank president.