Argentina economy tanks in April 2020 as virus bites
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – Argentina's economy shrank by more than 26% year-on-year in April while also contracting by 17.5% compared to March, the official statistics institute said on Monday, June 29.
Over the first 4 months of the year, the economy fell 11% compared to 2019, added Indec.
"The COVID-19 pandemic had a total impact on activity in April with all sectors falling," said Indec in a statement.
Construction was the worst-hit industry, plummeting 86.4%, with hotels and restaurants not far behind (-85.6%).
Manufacturing, down 34.4%, and business, which lost 27%, were also hard hit.
The news comes with Argentina already reeling from two years of recession.
The country went into lockdown on March 20 to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, but those measures have been gradually eased in recent weeks.
However, following a spike in coronavirus cases in the capital, a new lockdown has been imposed on the greater Buenos Aires area – home to more than a third of the country's 44 million people – from July 1 to 17.
Argentina has recorded almost 60,000 cases, with more than 90% of those in the greater Buenos Aires area, and 1,245 deaths from the virus.
As well as trying to manage the coronavirus crisis, President Alberto Fernandez is also attempting to renegotiate a $66-billion debt with stubborn creditors.
With 35% of the country's people already living in poverty, Fernandez is unwilling to budge much in his negotiations. (READ: Coronavirus pandemic poses perfect storm scenario for Argentine debt)
The International Monetary Fund has predicted the economy will shrink by 9.9% this year, after a 2.5% fall in 2019. – Rappler.com