February 24th, 2023


1. Four senators left the ruling party’s interbloc

Four senators announced this Thursday their withdrawal from the Frente de Todos inter-bloc. Departing senators are  Edgardo Kueider (Entre Ríos), Carlos Espínola (Corrientes) of the Frente Nacional y Popular bloc, close to the provincial governors; and Guillermo Snopek (Jujuy), and María Eugenia Catalfamo (San Luis), members of the Unidad Ciudadana block, more referenced with Vice-President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. The legislators will form a new space within the Upper House called Unidad Federal together with the Senator from Córdoba, Alejandra Vigo, wife of the Governor of said province, Juan Schiaretti, not aligned with the national government. Thus, the ruling party will no longer have its own quorum and will have 31 senators, compared to the 33 of the main opposition alliance Juntos por el Cambio, 5 of the new Unidad Federal bloc, plus 3 corresponding to minority spaces.

Ámbito Financiero: Senado: se fragmenta el bloque del Frente de Todos

2. Horacio Rodríguez Larreta launched his presidential pre-candidacy

The Mayor of the City of Buenos Aires, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, launched this Thursday through a recorded video his presidential pre-candidacy for the opposition coalition Juntos por el Cambio.In the recording, Rodriguez Larreta emphasized his criticism to the political use of the “grieta” (gap), which confronts the ruling party and the main opposition, assuring that “the only ones who benefit from the gap are those who opened it, those who take advantage of it”. He added that the “presidency has to be the beginning of the path of the great transformation”. In this sense, although the Mayor made official his pre-candidacy for Juntos por el Cambio, he would not be the only one from the opposition alliance, since Patricia Bullrich, former Minister of Security and current president of Propuesta Republicana (PRO); Gerardo Morales, governor of Jujuy and president of the National Committee of the Unión Cívica Radical (UCR); and Facundo Manes, national deputy, are also in the race. However, none of these have officially launched their pre-candidacy and former President Mauricio Macri, who has not yet defined whether he will run or not, could also run. Finally, Diego Santilli, current national deputy and linked to Rodríguez Larreta, had confirmed last week his pre-candidacy for the governorship of the province of Buenos Aires, the country’s most populous district.

Infobae: Rodríguez Larreta se lanzó con un video grabado en Santa Cruz y un mensaje anti-grieta: “Quiero ser buen Presidente”

3. Economic activity grew by 5.2% in 2022

The National Institute of Statistics and Census (INDEC) released this Thursday the Monthly Estimator of Economic Activity (EMAE) for December 2022, revealing a drop of 1.2% on a year-on-year basis, but a growth of 5.2% in 2022 as a whole. Thus, economic activity grew for the second consecutive year, following the recovery in 2021 after the quarantine resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The sectors with the best performance on a monthly scale were Fishing (15.5%), Hotels and restaurants (10.8%) and Mining and quarrying (10.8%). On the other hand, INDEC also published the Argentine Trade Exchange (ICA) for the month of January, which showed a negative result of USD 484 million in the trade balance, as exports reached USD 4.9 billion and imports, USD 5.3 billion. Likewise, the country’s main trading partners in January were Brazil, China and the European Union, although a deficit was recorded with all three countries.

Ámbito: La economía creció 5,2% en 2022: por primera vez en una década anota 2 años seguidos de expansión
Infobae: Sin dólar soja, la balanza comercial arrojó un déficit de casi USD 500 millones en enero

4. January registered an increase in public spending in the national public administration

According to an analysis made by the Argentine Institute of Fiscal Analysis (Iaraf) based on information provided by the Ministry of Economy, national public expenditure recorded an increase of 6.2% in real year-on-year terms in January. Such data was published this week and represented the first increase after six months of decline, when Martín Guzmán was heading that Ministry. In addition, total revenues fell by 3.2% year-on-year. On the other hand, the Central Bank (BCRA) started the repurchase of USD 3 million, after almost a month in which it experienced negative balances, with a loss of around USD 1.3 billion. In this aspect, the monetary entity runs the risk of not reaching the goal of quarterly accumulation of reserves.

La Nación: El gasto público explotó en enero, tras seis meses de baja
La Nación: Reservas del Banco Central: la entidad dejó en pausa hoy su racha vendedora, pero acumula un rojo de US$916 millones en el mes

5. The bank workers union went on a national strike

The Banking Association, led by the national deputy Sergio Palazzo, went on strike this Thursday in protest the failed negotiations with bank employers as well as request they be compensated for payment of the Income Tax. The strike took place within the framework of salary negotiations by different unions, especially the one carried out by state workers throughout the country, as well as the teachers’ unions, almost at the beginning of the school year. The teachers’ unions achieved an annual increase of 60% in the City of Buenos Aires, while those of the province of the same name are still negotiating, with an offer of 40% for the first semester from the provincial government.

Ámbito Financiero: Paro bancario: la Bancara ratificó la medida de fuerza
Infobae: Paritaria docente: el gobierno porteño acordó con los gremios y el lunes empezarán las clases sin conflicto
La Nación: Paritaria docente: Axel Kicillof ofreció un 40% de aumento hasta julio y le mete presión a la pauta de referencia de Sergio Massa