In a worrying sign for the Mauricio Macri administration, industrial activity fell 11.5 percent year-on-year in September – the biggest slump in 16 years.
Registering the biggest contraction since July 2002, when Argentina was gripped by economic crisis, the INDEC national statistics bureau said that manufacturing has witnessed a fifth consecutive month of decline.
Increases were only registered by steel and aluminium producers, which recorded a rise of three percent, year on year.
he slump is evidence of how the devaluation of the peso has hit local productive sectors and how consumption and sales have fallen across multiple sectors of the economy.
It came as something of a surprise to analysts, who had estimated activity would shrink by around seven percent.
The figures come from INDEC's Month Industrial Estimator (EMI), which shows that so far this year, industrial activity has fallen by 2.1 percent in the first nine months of 2018.
Construction activity fell 4.2 percent, compared to the same month last year, the worst year-on-year decline since February 2017. However, so far this year the sector has a whole has risen 6.4 percent, compared with the same period the year previous.
Textile producers registered the biggest decline, down 24.6 percent, with printing down 21.6 percent and rubber and plastics production falling 20.4 percent. The automobile industry saw a 15.7-percent slump.