So Mauricio Macri was right all along.
After taking much flak for the Argentine economy’s slow recovery, it turns out that it did actually start recovering in the second half of last year – as promised – with figures today confirming that GDP grew by 0.5 per cent in the last quarter of 2016.
Although the economy still contracted by 2.3 per cent overall last year, seasonally adjusted figures show that the previous 0.2 per cent quarter-on-quarter contraction in the third quarter was revised to positive growth of 0.1 per cent.
That confirms the end of a recession that has weighed heavily on the president’s popularity ratings, and bodes well for all-important legislative elections due in October.
Even so, the recovery is not yet being felt much by consumers, with net exports providing a strong contribution to growth.
Neil Shearing of Capital Economics has this to say:
Looking ahead, with inflation slowing, financial conditions loosening and the pace of fiscal austerity set to slow in advance of October’s vote, we expect GDP growth to accelerate further over the coming year. But the broad shape will remain unchanged – with net exports making a positive contribution, investment recovering and consumers struggling. All told, we expect GDP to expand by 2 per cent in 2017.