While inflation grows rampant and people lose some or all of their income in the middle of the coronavirus restrictions, Argentina's National Institute of Statistics and Census (INDEC) Thursday released a new economic report which showed positive figures.
Productive Deelopment Minister Matías Kulfas said on Twitter that the first industrial data for March are encouraging, after knowing the indicators of construction activity and industrial production in February, which showed a year-on-year improvement of 22.7% and 1.6%, respectively.
The first industrial data for March are encouraging; of course the comparison against 2020 is now going to be very high because we already compared against pandemic months; even so, comparing against 2019 the data is positive, said Kulfas.
”The industry had a summer manufacturing above pre-pandemic levels; however, the data for February was somewhat worse than that of January (with a drop of 1.6% month-on-month); that data was foreseeable and we had already been pointing it out; no it is a brake on the recovery, but the plant stops for vacations this year occurred more in February than in January, unlike 2020 ...,” the minsiter added.
Year-on-year, industrial activity rose 1.6% in February and construction 22.7%. February's was the fourth straight rise for construction after 26 months of decline. The level of industrial activity registered an increase of 1.6% year-on-year in February, while construction rose 22.7% in the same period..
It was also the third consecutive mark above 20% year-on-year for construction, while the Manufacturing Industrial Production Index recorded its fourth consecutive increase.
Beyond the improvement registered in the year-on-year comparison, the Indec report revealed that the level of industrial activity in February was 1.6% lower than that of last January.
In the case of construction, the month-on-month comparison reflected a 3.9% reduction compared to the first month of 2021. Thus, the first two months of the year showed a rise of 2.9% for the manufacturing sector and 23% for construction.
In the manufacturing sector, eight of the 16 surveyed items grew year-on-year. The improvements registered in the categories Other equipment, apparatus and instruments stood out, with an increase of 18.5% year-on-year; followed by Basic metal industries (16.4%); Machinery and Equipment (15.4%), and Non-metallic Minerals (14.4%).
But output dropped for transport equipment (23.2% - all values expressed year-on-year), oil refining (10.4%); clothing, (6.7%); motor vehicles (6.4%) and Chemicals (3.6%).
Regarding the results of the Synthetic Indicator of Construction Activity (ISAC), Indec said 30.8% of companies engaged in private activity and 40.8% of those engaged in public works envisioned improvements for the March-May quarter.
In February, shipments of 11 of the 13 supplies surveyed grew in interannual terms. Asphalt shipments (67.1%), ceramic sanitary ware (60.1%) and round iron and steel for construction (56.4%) topped the list.