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ECONOMY | 21-02-2020 18:00

Argentina's shrank 2.1% in 2019, reports INDEC

Argentina's recession-hit economy shrank by 2.1 percent in 2019, the INDEC national statistics bureau announced Friday.

Argentina's recession-hit economy shrank by 2.1 percent in 2019, the INDEC national statistics bureau announced Friday.

The bureau said the economy contracted by 0.3 percent in December compared to the same period in 2018.

Argentina has been in recession since mid-2018 as poverty and unemployment are on the rise and inflation surpassed 50 percent over the last year.

Already in 2018, GDP had dropped by 2.5 percent.

The news comes at a time when Argentina is attempting to renegotiate almost US$200-billion in debt in order to stave off a damaging default.

The International Monetary Fund ended a week-long mission to the South American country on Wednesday, after which it said Argentina's total debt of US$311 billion, worth more than 90 percent of its GDP, was "unsustainable."

President Alberto Fernández said after taking over from market-friendly Mauricio Macri in December that Argentina would not be able to pay its debts if it did not return to growth.

In December, the hardest-hit sectors were financial services, which shrank almost 10 percent compared to the previous year, and construction, which was down by eight percent.

On the other hand, the fishing industry grew by 13.5 percent.

– TIMES/AFP

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