RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The index that measures economic activity in Argentina fell 2% in May compared to the previous month, the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (Indec) reported on Wednesday (21).
This is the second consecutive monthly drop in the indicator. In April, the Monthly Index of Economic Activity (Emae) had already dropped 1.2% compared to March.
The new drop was caused by restrictions imposed by the government to contain the second wave of covid-19 that hit Argentina. On May 20, the country’s president, Alberto Fernandez, decreed a nine-day lockdown in Buenos Aires and other regions.
Compared to May 2020, the Emae rose 13.6%, a result that can be explained by the poor comparison base. In this same period last year, Argentina’s economy was hit hard by the first lockdown decreed by Fernández.
Despite the recent slowdown caused by the new restrictions, Indec pointed out that in the first five months of the year, the Emae has accumulated a 9.5% increase over the same period of 2020.
Almost all of the 16 sectors that make up the index registered year-on-year increases, according to Indec. The only one that showed a decline was Agriculture, Livestock, Hunting, and Forestry, which retreated 4.3% from May 2020.
The Ministry of Economy predicts that Argentina’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will grow 7% this year. Analysts are less optimistic and estimate a 6% expansion in 2021.