June 18, 2019 / 7:29 PM / 4 months ago

Argentina GDP seen down 5.9% in first quarter: Reuters poll

A woman shops in a supermarket in Buenos Aires, Argentina April 17, 2019. REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina’s gross domestic product (GDP) likely contracted 5.9% in the first quarter from the same quarter a year ago, hit by a decline in domestic consumption and production due to stubbornly high inflation and a sharp recession, according to analysts polled by Reuters.

South America’s second largest economy is expected to report official GDP data for the first quarter on Wednesday, according to the statistics agency INDEC’s formal publication schedule.

A Reuters poll of eight local and international analysts indicated a range of economic contractions between 5.6% and 7.2%, with the average drop around 5.9%. Analysts said a gradual recovery process would follow.

“Slowly economic activity will recover,” as it benefited from low levels of consumption and idle capacity in the quarterly comparisons, said Pablo Besmedrisnik, director of consultancy Invenómica.

Argentina’s economy had grown 3.9% year-on-year in the same quarter in 2018, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INDEC). The country’s GDP has been falling since the second quarter of 2018.

Reporting by Hernan Nessi; Writing by Adam Jourdan; Editing by Rosalba O'Brien

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