September 25, 2019 / 6:59 PM / 25 days ago

Argentine economic activity likely weakened in July: Reuters poll

FILE PHOTO: People are pictured outside a bank in Buenos Aires' financial district, Argentina October 18, 2018. Picture taken October 18, 2018. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina’s economic activity likely fell in July, after improving in the months before, a Reuters poll of economists showed, another sign of the renewed challenge facing the country amid a swirling debt and currency crisis.

The monthly economic activity index will likely show a 2% contraction of economic activity in the month, according to the average response from eight local and foreign analysts. The median response was for a 1.8% decline.

Argentina’s official statistics agency INDEC will release the data, a useful barometer of economic growth, on Thursday.

Latin America’s No. 3 economy saw its economic activity rise for the first time in over a year in May, while it was flat in June. The country reported a small GDP rise in the second quarter, breaking a lengthy recession.

The analysts consulted said the weaker July showing was due to a smaller impact from farm sector exports and high inflation, denting what had been seen as something of a recovery.

“If the results of recent months suggested economic activity was coming back to life, the July data indicates this process has been interrupted,” said consultancy Orlando Ferreres & Asociados in a report.

It added that recent market turmoil meant the outlook for growth looked even weaker, after a shock primary election result in August hit markets and hobbled President Mauricio Macri’s chances of reelection in a general vote next month.

“Going forward the outlook looks even worse.”

The analyst estimates ranged from a minimum drop of 1.5% to a maximum contraction of 2.9% for July.

Reporting by Hernan Nessi; Writing by Adam Jourdan; Editing by Marguerita Choy

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