June 21, 2019
1. Electoral Panorama
A day away from the close of party lists for the upcoming national elections in October, several important political moves were made. On the Frente de Todos ticket, headed by Alberto Fernández and his vice-presidential pick, former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Sergio Massa was chosen to lead the list of legislators for the Province of Buenos Aires – which contains 37% of Argentina’s national electorate. Additionally, former Economy Minister Axel Kicillof will run for Governor of the same province. In the same space, Matías Lammens, president of one of Argentina’s most prominent football clubs (not unlike President Macri), San Lorenzo de Almagro, will run for the City of Buenos Aires’ head of government. President Macri’s Juntos por el Cambio coalition also did some last-minute maneuvering. Buenos Aires Governor María Eugenia Vidal met with Senator and vice-presidential candidate Miguel Pichetto to discuss electoral strategies in Buenos Aires – the most important region for the government. Finally, Consenso Federal 2030, the country’s third largest coalition, officially launched its presidential campaign in the Province of Salta, where its Governor Juan Manuel Urtubey, now a vice-presidential candidate, joined with the coalition’s presidential candidate Roberto Lavagna.
2. GDP drops 0.2% in Q1 over Q4 2018
Argentina’s national statistical agency (INDEC) announced that GDP dropped 0.2% in Q1 2019 over Q4 2018. This figure adds up to a -5.8% y/y drop in total GDP. The same report revealed a -10.5% in private consumption and a -0.2% fall in public consumption. Exports of goods and services, on the other hand, registered a 1.7% increase, year over year. On the other hand, in May there was a primary surplus of AR $ 25,974 million (USD$590,318) and it will accumulate a positive balance in the first five months of the year. The result is in line with what was agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) whose goal is zero deficit by the end of the year.
Ámbito Financiero: El PBI cayó 5,8% interanual en el primer trimestre del año
3. Essential home goods prices increase 2.9% in May
The total price of essential home goods, which includes goods and services that allow a family of four to avoid poverty, increased 2.9% in May over April – a y/y increase of 61.1%. With these new statistics, a family of four now requires ARS $30,338 (USD $709) monthly to stay above the poverty line. On the other hand, unemployment also reached double digits in Q1 2019 for the first time since 2006 – a rate of 10.1%, a 1% increase over 2018’s Q1 figures.
4. Historic blackout in Argentina: The entire country without power
On Sunday, Argentina and Uruguay suffered nationwide blackouts due to a cut in the electrical supply system. The blackout began at 7:07am following the failure of the Argentine Interconnection System (SADI). SADI is the network that collects and distributes all the energy generated in Argentina. The only unaffected province was Tierra del Fuego, thanks to its network’s separation from the continental platform. The Secretary of Energy explained that the blackout was caused by a “failure in the transport system” and occurred “automatically, without human intervention.”
5. Macri announces program to students seeking careers in the digital sector
During a forum to promote digital talent, President Macri announced the awarding of 10,000 scholarships for students seeking in-demand careers in the digital sector. In addition to scholarships, the government announced that it had reached an agreement with more than 600 businesses to facilitate internships and professional development roles for those students participating in the program.