Per Florence Golender
In the first half of last year, when the drought seemed to be the biggest problem for national government accounts, a (first) exchange rate hit all the alarms. The shock was so much that 2018 marked the return of funding from the International Monetary Fund. Cambiemos economic team came to accept that in the pre-election election the country would go through a recession scenario. This Tuesday, Indec ratified this negative forecast for productive activity when reporting a fall of 2.6% compared to 2017.
The December data of the Monthly Economic Activity Estimator (EMAE) registered a decrease of 7% year-on-year. It is the ninth month of consecutive loss. The top priority for the government is whether this number means the recession, as the November indicator showed a slightly larger decline of 7.5%.
"The key is to see if this is the autumn floor, but when talking about industry representatives and SMEs it seems that, unfortunately, we have not gotten there, the situation can be deepened"he assured"Chronicthe financial analyst Christian Buteler.
"The aggravation of the activity will continue because the weakening of the domestic market is a fact and no index allows to see that it will reverse"said the economist Agustín D & # 39; Atellis.
For his part, the economist Damián Di Pace, of Focus Market, spoke in conversation with this medium: "The first quarter of this year will be compared with the same quarter of 2018, which was not so bad for industry and commerce, which is why it is difficult to reverse the decline. Yes it seems to have played in an apartment"he analyzed.
The sharpest falls were the drop in consumption in the wholesale and retail trade, with a drop of 15.7%, followed by the manufacturing industry with 14.2% and construction, with 12.7%.
"The deepest falls are occurring in commerce and industry, which are two closely related economic sectors. Trade is the barometer of economics. If sales fall on their final link, they end up having an impact on the industry linked to their intermediate and final goods that are produced for the domestic market."Di Pace explained.
Of the total of 15 productive sectors that make up the EMAE, in December the field was positive only, with an increase of 4.7%, education, which improved: 1%, and social and health services, which increased by 0.4%. %. The remaining twelve sectors continued the negative trend.
Electricity, gas and water production decreased by 6.8%, fishing activity was reduced by 4.8%, hotel and catering activity decreased by 3.5%, mining and quarrying operations were 1.8%, financial intermediation , 3.4% and real estate, 2.1%, among others.
Official sources estimated that the 0.5% increase in December, compared to last November, could mean the beginning of the activity recovery. The Minister of Finance, Nicolás Dujovne, recognized this week "the difficult time for SMEs", but he assured:"We are doing everything possible to stabilize the economy"