The INDEC national statistics bureau has revealed that Argentina's economy contracted by by 1.8 percent in January, prior to the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic.
The institute said Monday its Estimator of Monthly Economic Activity (EMAE) registered a negative interannual decline of 1.8 percent in January, before the effects of the nationwide shutdown were felt. The contraction was led by falls in agricultural production, construction and financial services.
Activity declined by 0.1 percent on December 2019, the bureau found.
INDEC said this was a likely a result of a carryover after almost two years of recession, after Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fell by 2.6 percent in 2018 and 2.2 percent in 2019.
EMAE data shows that Argentina's economy has registered year-on-year drops in 19 of the last 21 months.
Since March 20, Argentina has been under a strict nationwide lockdown, with citizens ordered to adopt mandatory isolation regime to mitigate the effects of the virus.
Around 90 percent of the population is confined to their homes and economic activity is almost paralysed, except for the essential services and industries of food, hygiene and medicine. This is likely to have an even more negative impact on the economy moving forward.