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Mon Jun 29, 2020, 08:30 PM

Argentine GDP plunges record 26.4% in April amid pandemic and lockdown

Argentina’s economic activity plunged 26.4% in April, the country’s official statistics agency said on Monday - the worst monthly fall on record as the country reeled from the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic and a nationwide lockdown.

The April drop, after the South American grains producer imposed the lockdown on March 19, was worse than the 21% decline predicted by analysts polled by Reuters, underscoring how badly the pandemic has battered local industry.

Already mired in recession for two years and in default on foreign debts, Argentina is headed for an annual economic contraction in 2020 that the IMF has estimated at about 10%.

The worst-hit sectors included construction and tourism, which fell over 85%. Manufacturing fell 34.4%, and finance fared best with a 3.2% decline thanks in part to credit subsidies.

Subsidies and relaxed restrictions resulted in a 9.2% rebound in May, according to economist Orlando Ferreres - but GDP remains 14.9% below May 2019 levels. An economic relief package of nearly $20 billion (5% of GDP) has been earmarked since March.

Argentina’s government faces a tough balancing act between combating a recent spike in COVID-19 cases and reopening the economy.

President Alberto Fernández reimposed a quarantine in and around Buenos Aires on June 26 - but relaxed rules in other parts of the country. Some 90% of the nation's Covid cases reported thus far, have been in the Buenos Aires metro area (home to one third of Argentines).

The country has reported 62,268 cases, and 1,280 deaths. Its death rate of 28 per million people compares favorably with 275 in Brazil, 288 in Peru, 292 in Chile, and 389 in the U.S.

At: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-argentina-activity/argentina-economic-activity-plunges-record-26-4-in-april-amid-pandemic-idUSKBN2402PX

A quiet weekday recently in Buenos Aires' normally bustling Corrientes Avenue.

A federal stay-home order issued on March 19 has helped curve the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic in Argentina - which has seen Covid deaths rates of one tenth that of most of its neighbors.

The restrictions, however, have led a sharp deepening of the country's two-year "Macrisis" - its worst debt and economic crisis in two decades.

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Response to sandensea (Original post)

Mon Jun 29, 2020, 11:02 PM

1. Hoping people will take time to consider how life would be right now had Macri stayed in office!

It would have become total chaos by now, no doubt!

He would have been horrible at trying to cope with this catastrophe. There is no way he could have come remotely close to the results achieved by President Fernández,

It was great getting to see the numbers, comparison to other countries. Stunning. Hope the citizens will take the time to study the difference between Argentina, and what the hell Trump has done to the U.S., Bolsonaro to Brazil, etc. This kind of intensity is really separating the men from the boys, or "the wheat from the chaff."

The stats on population of city vs. rural is amazing. I just checked for numbers, saw that Buenos Aires metro is almost twice as large as NYC. Holy Moly! It's amazing 90% of the pandemic seems to be focused right there.

Sure sounds as if the President has been handling things very well, so much more proficient than we will ever experience here this year.

Thanks for the valuable information. It's a lot to think about!

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 29, 2020, 11:20 PM

2. A 'black swan' as they call it (unexpected crisis). May & June were better - but still so difficult.

Right-wing media, as you can imagine, have been apoplectic down there - but not on account of the economy.

But because despite their constant barrage of attacks, and despite the economic crisis itself, Fernández still enjoys approval ratings of around 60%.

Why? Because as bad as things are, most voters realize that had Macri (somehow) won, they would now have the worst of both worlds:

A Brazil/Chile/Peru-style public health calamity - with people being turned away from hospitals due to a lack of ICU space - plus an economic calamity.

Something all these countries are, in fact, more or less going through anyway.

Whatever the case may be, let's pray all this is behind us as soon as possible. Can I get an Amen!

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Response to sandensea (Reply #2)

Tue Jun 30, 2020, 12:25 AM

3. Amen! It will all pass if we can all put light inside our bodies just as the Stable Genius says.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #3)

Tue Jun 30, 2020, 12:42 AM

4. The Four Racketeers: Traitor, Snoop, Beast, and Narco.

It says something that Duque is the "nice guy" of the bunch.

Speaking of 'Snoop', Macri has been arraigned - and may soon be charged - in the ongoing spygate scandal.

Remember the film 'The Lives of Others'? This was at least 1,500 politicians (including many Macri allies), journalists, and other influencers under East German-style surveillance for most of Macri's 2015-19 tenure.

Many are calling on the courts to issue an emergency order barring Macri's exit from the country (and others - including his Security Minister Patricia Bullrich, Intelligence head Gustavo "Odebrecht" Arribas, and others).

And they have good reason to: Macri is reportedly pleading with Sultan al-Thani of Qatar (who as host of the 2022 World Cup, has a lot of pull at FIFA) to appoint him to a FIFA post at its Swiss headquarters - to avoid trial in Argentina.

I wonder if Cheeto will try the same thing next year?

"C'mon, Sultan! I've got a great build for soccer!"

"Yes. As the ball."

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Response to sandensea (Reply #4)

Wed Jul 1, 2020, 02:33 AM

5. Excellent observation! It may be that Duque lags behind only because he's younger.

It's so good to hear Bullrich is being detained, herself, along with the other accomplices. They were all hard-bitten villains in their own rights.

Do you think they will retake the "hands on the globe" photo with Joe Biden standing there, looking insane for the U.S.?

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