July 26, 2019
1. Electoral Panorama
Two weeks away from the obligatory open primary elections (PASO), candidates are making their final moves. Mauricio Macri arrived in the province of Córdoba where he had dinner with Governor Juan Shciaretti and confirmed that his final campaign event would take place there. Macri’s chief competitor, Alberto Fernández, met with San Luis Governor Alberto Rodríguez Saá and was able to secure the support of all Peronist governors. In Santa Fe, Alberto Fernández took a tour of the province alongside its governor Omar Perotti. Fernández’s running mate, former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, will be in Tigre on August 3rd to present her book, Sinceramente, where she will be accompanied by Alberto Fernández and leading legislative candidate Sergio Massa – the first public appearance of the former dissident Peronist alongside Cristina. Finally, the candidate for the Consenso Federal, Roberto Lavagna, visited the province of Mendoza and boasted that his candidacy bothered both Macrists and Kirchnerists, explaining he had received requests to withdraw from the race on both sides. Additionally, he confirmed he would not serve as Economy Minister or on the cabinet of either Alberto Fernández or Mauricio Macri.
2. IMF lowers year-end growth projection for Argentina
The IMF once again lowered its year-end GDP growth expectations for Argentina, stating the country’s GDP will fall 1.3%. The revised projection can be explained by a drop in domestic consumption and private investment, which have experienced drops of 4.8% and 17.5%, respectively, compared to the same period in 2018. Although the country is experiencing trying economic times, the trend is not unique to Argentina – the IMF also lowered its projection for all of Latin America by 0.8 points to 0.6%, and an upturn in 2020 to 2.3%. Moreover, the IMF believes that lower global economic growth is the result of greater tensions among large emerging markets that are currently experiencing trying macroeconomic adjustment periods.
3. U.S. – Mercosur trade agreement earns spot on bilateral agenda
In the midst of positivity resulting from the agreement between the EU and Mercosur, President Mauricio Macri and his Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro shared a goal to strike a similar agreement with the United States. Nonetheless, the U.S. has other priorities: namely passing the trade agreement that will replace NAFTA, the trade war with China, the continuing Brexit saga and next year’s presidential elections. The possible agreement, as well as Argentina’s inclusion into the OECD, were touched on by Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Kimberly Breier and figures from the private sector. Additionally, Breier rescheduled Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’ visit to Argentina for the 1st of August.
4. Economic activity grew 2.6% in May
According to the National Statistics and Census Institute (Indec), economic activity recovered 2.6% in May compared to the same month last year, after thirteen months of contraction in the production of goods and services. The figures of the Monthly Economic Activity Estimator (EMAE) for May recorded that, compared to last April, there was also a growth of 0.2%. The growth is mainly explained by the growth of the agriculture, livestock, hunting and forestry sector, which rose 49.5%, while important sectors of the economy such as industry, construction and trade showed falls of 6.5%, 3.1% and 11.4% respectively. On the other hand, according to the Argentine Trade Exchange Report (ICA), in June exports increased 1.9% while imports fell 23.5% year-on-year, which impacted on the positive trade balance. The trade balance in June showed a surplus of US$ 1.061 billion, adding ten months of positive balances.
Ámbito Financiero: Actividad económica creció 2,6% en mayo por impulso del campo
5. Livestock industry: 250,000 new jobs and USD $10 billion in exports by 2030
During the “Week of Meats” – held at Palermo’s Rural Exposition – the “Board of Meats,” a chamber consisting of more than 30 meat-related organizations in the region, projects that the sector can be beefed up in 10 years, add 250,000 new jobs and generate USD $10 billion in exports. Currently, the industry is something of a cash cow in the region, employing 480,000 workers and exporting approximately USD $3 billion annually. Agrobusiness Secretary Luis Miguel Etchevehere participated in the event and stated that, “in 2015 we operated in a closed market. This Board was the base upon which, the moment Macri won, he could begin [helping the sector] in a coordinated manner. The government promises to keep working. We still have the indignities (of the previous administration) at the top of our minds. We don’t want to be partners of Iran or Venezuela”.offers has added up to USD $462 million, according to the government.