The Argentine economy expanded 4.9% last year according to the official stats office Indec 'monthly economic growth indicator', EMAE, which is usually a good anticipation of the final figures. If confirmed Argentina will have grown uninterruptedly since the 2002 crisis, when the major default and melting of the economy.
The EMAE index also showed that in December activity was 2.7% higher than a year ago but only 0.1% over November. Likewise GDP in the third quarter of 2013 expanded 0.2% over the second quarter, but 5.5% relative to the same quarter in 2012.
According to official stats from Indec, the Argentine economy between 2003 and 2011 has expanded at an 8.3% annually, although it slumped to 1.9% in 2012. According to the budget presented to Congress, GDP should grow by 6.2% in 2014.
However it must also be mentioned that inflation and GDP Indec stats have been challenged for many years, including from the IMF, which finally convinced the Cristina Fernandez administration to elaborate on a new index for consumer prices. As a result of the new index, inflation in January was 3.7%.
Under the Kirchner couple, annual inflation as measured by Indec was always below 10%. However a Congressional index, an average of private estimates has inflation running at 23% to 25% annually.
In related news Indec also released data on industrial activity during January, which suffered a 3% contraction, but was 1.6% above December last year.
In January the sectors with good performance compared to a year ago include, steel and aluminum, 19.4%; textiles, 7.1%; printing, 5.9%; construction materials, 1.8%; oil refining, 1.4% and tobacco, 0.4%.
On the down side, the auto industry plunged 13.5%; food, 1.9%; chemicals, 7.8%; rubber and plastic, 6.2% and paper and pulp, 1.1%.
Overall last year Argentina industrial activity was down 0.2% compared to 2012, which means it is the second year running this happens since the country recovered from the 2001/2002 collapse.