Argentine builders and manufacturers took a step back in June, in poorly-timed news for President Mauricio Macri who faces a critical primary vote on Sunday.
Construction activity in Argentina fell 4.2 percent in June compared with May, overshadowing smaller gains in the previous two months. It was down 11.8 percent from a year ago. Industrial production, which rose in April and May, also sunk 1.8 percent in June on a monthly basis and dropped 6.9 percent from a year prior, according to government data published Tuesday.
This semester the drops in industrial activity have accumulated to 9.4 percent compared to last year.
The sectors of industrial activity that saw the greatest declines were “other transportation equipment” (32.2 percent), “vehicles, automobiles, bodies, trailers and auto parts” (28.7 percent) and “textile products” (18.5 percent).
It’s possible the economy still grew in June due to exports from a record crop harvest. While the bad economic news may not have a major impact on the results of the primary vote due on August 11, it contradicts Macri’s message on the campaign trail that the economy is finally finding its footing after a brutal recession.
Economists recently revised down their expectations for second quarter growth to 0.5 percent from 0.7 percent previously, according to the Central Bank’s monthly survey published on August 2.