March 22nd, 2024


1. INDEC reported economic activity and trade data

As a result of the drought, the exchange rate gap and import barriers, economic activity fell again last year. GDP dropped 1.9% in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the previous quarter, leading to a full-year GDP contraction of 1.6%. This result contrasted with the 5% growth that had been recorded in 2022. The data reported by the National Institute of Statistics and Census also showed a 1.4% decline compared to the same period of the previous year. In February of this year, Argentina’s trade exchange amounted to US$9.62 billion, down 6.3% year-on-year. However, the trade balance was positive at US$1.43 billion, marking the third consecutive month with a surplus.

Clarín: Por la sequía, la brecha cambiaria y las trabas a importar, la actividad económica cayó 1,6% en 2023

Ámbito Financiero: Balanza comercial registró en febrero su tercer superávit al hilo: saldo positivo fue de u$s1.438 millones

2. The government presented the candidates it is promoting for the Supreme Court of Justice

Through a statement issued by the Office of the President, the Argentine Government announced that it will send the nomination papers for federal judge Ariel Lijo and Universidad Austral Law School Dean Manuel García-Mansilla to join the Supreme Court of Justice; the former to replace the seat vacated by Elena Highton de Nolasco in 2021, and the latter due to the imminent retirement of Minister Juan Carlos Maqueda. “President Javier Milei, fulfilling his constitutional mandate, and in accordance with the modification of Decree 222/2003 that will be published in the coming hours, has made the determination to nominate Dr. Manuel García-Mansilla to replace the current judge of the Supreme Court of the Nation, Juan Carlos Maqueda, who turns 75 years old next December 29 and must leave his position on that date, as established by law,” the communiqué states. It adds: “In turn, in order to fill the vacancy left in the Court by Dr. Elena Highton de Nolasco after her departure on November 1, 2021, the President of the Nation has decided to nominate Judge Ariel Lijo.” In the event that both nominees are approved in the Senate, the number of members of the highest court will return to five.

Clarín: El Gobierno de Milei propuso al juez federal Ariel Lijo y al jurista Manuel García-Mansilla para cubrir dos vacantes en la Corte Suprema

3. Five commissions were formed in the Chamber of Deputies and a series of agreements, conventions and treaties were approved

After intense negotiations with the allied and pro-dialogue blocks, the Chamber of Deputies presided over by Martin Menem formed five committees this week: the Education Committee; the Housing and Urban Planning Committee; the Culture Committee; the Labor Legislation Committee; and the Addiction Prevention and Drug Trafficking Control Committee. Of these, the Education Committee was left in the hands of Deputy PRO Alejandro Finocchiaro; the Housing and Urban Planning Committee and the Culture Committee were left in the hands of Unión por la Patria, with Leandro Santoro and Paula Pennaca as chairmen, respectively; the Labor Legislation Committee was left in the hands of Radical Lisandro Nieri; and finally, the Addictions Prevention and Drug Trafficking Control Committee was left in the hands of the Civic Coalition. Likewise, the Foreign Affairs and Worship Commission approved a series of pending projects related to agreements, conventions and treaties. Among them, the multilateral agreement to apply measures related to tax treaties to prevent tax base erosion and profit shifting; and the agreement on mutual recognition of protection measures for women in situations of gender violence among Mercosur member states and associated states were approved.

Cámara de Diputados: Continúan constituyéndose comisiones en la cámara de diputados

4. AFIP announced the advance payment of 3 taxes

Through General Resolution 5492/2024 published in the Official Gazette, the Federal Administration of Public Revenues (AFIP) brought forward the collection of three key taxes. The PAIS Tax, the Tax on Credits and Debits in Bank Accounts and Other Transactions, and the Tax on Cinema Show Tickets will be collected next Monday, March 25 instead of Wednesday, March 27, as originally scheduled. According to experts, the decision responds to the need to compute those tax revenues within the month of March and thus help to close a number consistent with the fiscal balance objectives pursued by the Minister of Economy, Luis Caputo. They add, in this sense, that the change may make bureaucratic procedures more difficult for taxpayers and generate extra costs for the private sector. According to the measure, this was taken “for tax administration reasons” since Thursday the 28th will be a non-working day, while Friday the 29th will be a holiday due to Easter, which affects tax collection and management times.

Infobae: AFIP adelantó la fecha de pago de tres impuestos clave: quiénes son los afectados

5. Mauricio Macri returns to the presidency of PRO and the PJ discusses new leadership

After long and tense negotiations, and on the eve of a possible agreement between the PRO and Libertad Avanza to give greater governability to the administration of President Javier Milei, Mauricio Macri will take back the reins of the party he created to come to power. The former president became the new president of Pro after his armors managed to reach an agreement with Patricia Bullrich’s sector to present a unity list and, in this way, avoid an internal election to renew the authorities. On the other hand, Peronism will hold its party congress this Friday with the purpose of reorganizing itself in a context of distrust and lack of leadership, seeking to unify positions before the proposals of the ruling party and to limit the risks of a “flight” of leaders due to the negotiations of the governors with the Casa Rosada, with its effect on the Congress. The meeting will discuss who will be the new President of the Justicialist Party, after the resignation of Alberto Fernández.

La Nación: Tras una tensa pulseada con Bullrich, Macri cerró el pacto de unidad y asume como nuevo presidente de Pro

Clarín: Alberto Fernández “afuera”: el PJ se activa y hay fuertes disputas por la nueva conducción