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Argentina registers first trade surplus since December 2016

INDEC national statistics bureau reveals economy recorded trade surplus of US$314 million in September.

Wednesday 24 October, 2018
Containers are seen at a port in Buenos Aires.
Containers are seen at a port in Buenos Aires. Foto:JUAN MABROMATA-AFP

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The economy registered its first trade surplus since December 2016 this week, the INDEC national statistics bureau revealed this week.

Argentina recorded a surplus of US$314 million in September, the bureau said on Tuesday.

Reuters called the news "an early sign the devaluation of the peso currency has benefitted the country’s exporters" in a report.

The change in trend was driven by a sharp year-on-year drop of 21.2 percent in imports. Exports also fell, but crucially by less, down 4.8 percent compared to September last year.

Both external purchases and sales have both been affected by the recent decline in economic activity, amid the huge devaulation of the peso so far this year, sustained inflation and a drop in domestic consumption.

Overall, the balance for the first nine months of the year remains negative, totalling a deficit of US$6.45 billion.

“The trade surplus in September was the first sign of the expected trade and current account adjustment following the large currency devaluation and sharp slowdown in investment spending,” said a Goldman Sachs research note.

Argentina's economy is predicted to contract 2.6 percent this year, with annual inflation expected to come in at close to 45 percent.

- TIMES/AFP

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