Argentina in recession as economy shrinks again

A street in Buenos Aires, on Nov 29, 2018. The IMF predicts that Argentina's economy will shrink by 2.6 per cent this year and another 1.6 per cent in 2019.
A street in Buenos Aires, on Nov 29, 2018. The IMF predicts that Argentina's economy will shrink by 2.6 per cent this year and another 1.6 per cent in 2019.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

BUENOS AIRES (AFP) - Argentina is in recession after its economy shrank by 3.5 per cent during the third trimester of 2018, the state statistics bureau said on Tuesday (Dec 18).

It was the second such shrinkage in a row after the economy shrank 4.0 per cent in the second quarter, with respect to the same period a year ago.

Gross domestic product is down by 1.4 per cent from January to September compared with 2017.

The hardest hit sectors were business (down 8.9 per cent), fishing (-7.3 per cent) and manufacturing (-6.6). But finance was up by 5.1 per cent.

Argentina has been gripped by an economic crisis this year that forced President Mauricio Macri to agree a US$56 billion bailout loan with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

It came as confidence in the peso crumbled, sending the currency into a freefall that saw it lose half its value against the dollar.

The IMF predicts that Argentina's economy will shrink by 2.6 per cent this year and another 1.6 per cent in 2019.