Argentina’s economy shrinks for first time in nearly three years

Person walks on the street in downtown Buenos Aires

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Argentina’s economy shrank 4.9% in the second-quarter of 2023 versus the year-ago period, the country’s statistics agency said on Tuesday, slightly missing analysts’ forecast of a 4.8% contraction and posting the first break in growth for years.

Tuesday’s result marks the first time the country’s growth was in the red since 2020.

The agricultural sector registered the highest drop, with a 40.2% decrease compared to the same period the previous year.

The country is battling to salvage a $44 billion deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) amid a steady depreciation of the peso, negative central bank reserves and a flagging economy due to the impact of drought on the farming sector.

(Reporting by Hernan Nessi; Writing by Carolina Pulice; Editing by Aida Pelaez-Fernandez and Isabel Woodford)