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Argentina economic activity slid more than expected as Milei took office

Published February 23,2024

Argentina's economic activity slid a larger-than-expected 4.5% in December from a year earlier, the country's statistics agency said on Thursday, underscoring the challenge for libertarian President Javier Milei who took office that month.

The result was significantly weaker than the 2.3% drop forecast by analysts polled by Reuters ahead of the data. Milei, a right-wing outsider who has pledged to slash state spending to overturn a deep fiscal deficit, was inaugurated on Dec. 10.

Argentina's economic activity was down 3.1% in December versus a month earlier, and slid 1.6% in the full year 2023. In the month, fishing, farming and mining activity was up, but outweighed by falls in manufacturing, finance and retail.

Economic activity numbers are seen as a useful early indicator of likely gross domestic product (GDP) results.