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Argentina: Consumer sentiment stable, economy expands

Staff Writer |
In November, the Universidad Torcuato di Tella (UTDT) consumer confidence index in Argentina remained stable at October’s 51.1 points.

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The index is slightly above the 50-point threshold that separates pessimistic from optimistic sentiment, for the third time since January 2016.

The index’s marginal uptick reflects an increase in the macroeconomic outlook offsetting deteriorations in consumers’ willingness to purchase durable goods rose and perceptions of personal financial situation.

Panelists surveyed for the LatinFocus Consensus Forecast see private consumption rising 3.2% in 2018, which is up 0.8 percentage points from last month’s forecast. For 2019, panelists expect private consumption to increase 3.1%.

In September, the monthly indicator for economic activity (EMAE, Estimador Mensual de Actividad Económica) logged another strong reading. Growth in economic activity came in at 3.8% year-on-year, but below the 4.3% observed in August.

September’s print marks the seventh consecutive month of growth and suggests that economic activity in the third quarter was strong.

September’s increase reflects a broad-based expansion, with growth observed in almost all components of the index.

Double-digit annual growth in fishing and construction and robust growth in financial intermediation, retail sales and manufacturing spearheaded the result.

In contrast, the figure was weighed down by a drop in the supply of electricity, gas and water and in mining and quarrying.

A seasonally-adjusted month-on-month comparison showed that economic activity slowed from a 0.3% expansion in August to 0.1% in September. Lastly, economic activity in the 12 months up to September jumped to 1.4% on average, up from 0.8% in the 12 months up to August.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect economic growth to rebound to 2.7% in 2018, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast. For 2019, panelists see the economy expanding 2.9%.

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