Buenos Aires Times | INDEC: Economy grew 6% in the first quarter of 2022

Argentina’s gross domestic product (GDP) rose six percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2022, the INDEC national statistics bureau has revealed.

The figure reflects a slight correction to the bureau’s already released quarterly Economic Activity Estimator, which had estimated economic growth for the period at 6.1 percent.

The Economy Ministry welcomed the news, saying that the figure indicated that growth is on track to meet its stated target of a four percent rise in GDP this calendar year.

“If the economy were to remain at the same levels until the end of the year, we would have a growth of four percent compared to last year,” sources at the Treasury told the Noticias Argentinas news agency.

“The leading indicators we have for the second quarter are giving us good results and that is why we are confident that we can even improve the projected four percent,” the sources added.

Overall, the economy registered a seasonally adjusted expansion of 0.9 percent compared to the previous quarter of October-December 2021, according to INDEC.

Among the sectors improving the most were hotels and restaurants (up 33 percent), transport and communications (up 12.2 percent) trade (up 5.7 percent), manufacturing (up 4.9 percent) and construction (up three percent).

Slight falls were detected in agriculture and livestock (down 0.1 percent) and fisheries (down five percent).

INDEC’s report also noted a 12.7 percent increase in investment, while private consumption grew by 9.3 percent, public consumption rose by 6.5 percent and exports of real goods and services recorded an increase of 9.3 percent.

GDP rose 10.3 percent in 2021, registering a strong recovery after the sharp 9.9 percent fall recorded in 2020, a consequence of the negative economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimated in its latest forecast report that Argentina’s GDP will grow by four percent this year.

In contrast, the latest survey of expectations prepared by the Central Bank, based on calculations by the largest banks and private consulting firms, projected growth of 3.3 percent in 2022.

Unemployment stays at 7%

INDEC also revealed Thursday that Argentina’s unemployment rate in the first three months of 2022 remained at seven percent – the same figure as the previous quarter.

Underemployment (referring to individuals who do not have enough paid work or are not doing work that makes full use of their skills and abilities) fell over the same period from 12.1 percent to 10 percent.

The data means that Argentina’s joblessness rate has slowed its downward trend after reaching its lowest level in six years in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Unemployment stood at 8.2 percent in the third quarter of last year, 9.6 percent in the second quarter and 10.2 percent in the first quarter. In the fourth quarter of 2020 it had risen to 11 percent, with underemployment at 15.1 percent.

INDEC’s data is based on a survey of the country’s 31 main urban areas, where the economically active population represents a total of 29.1 million people out of 47 million inhabitants.

– TIMES / AFP / NA

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