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Economists predict that activity will recover only in the second quarter of 2019 – December 30, 2008

After 2018, marked by the devaluation of the peso, inflation at 48% and a recession affecting almost all activities, the big question is how will the economy begin at the beginning of the new year. The official budget forecast calls for a 0.5% decline in GDP for the whole of 2019.

Experts in this sense predict "Difficult" first quarter and “difficult” because the interannual fluctuations in activity in general will continue to fall, reflecting more of the conditions of what happened in 2018, they explain. In any case, recovery will be very slow from the second quarter with improvements in some sectors of activity and wages. The main question is what will happen with exchange rate stability, interest rates and country risk, which, in their opinion, at the current level implies serious financial stress.

“One of the priorities on the economic agenda for 2019 is that the central bank manages to lower the rate interest without leaving the dollar, ”he says. Federico Furiaseconomist consultant Eco go“It is also necessary that wages be restored against inflation. “What looks difficult today in a context where political uncertainty affects country risk,” he says.

Country risk, the variable that follows the performance of Argentine bonds abroad, "leaves the Central Bank at no extra charge to go faster to lower the interest rate. With which, It also becomes difficult to increase credit.that, in turn, companies need to co-finance, ”he argues. In short, the analyst sees, in the short term, “the gradual recovery of real wages, the most stagnant loan, and in this context companies that may have some unemployment,” he says.

at Lorenzo Seagout Gravinaeconomist EcolatinaThe first question is how calm the exchange rate continues. “Given that country risk exceeds 800 points, it is clear that Argentina does not have access to funding. And although the country complies with the requirements of the IMF, payments will be available in 2019, but by the middle of 2020 it will have to go out and place the debts, ”he explains. “This financial uncertainty is what overshadows the prospects,” he says.

On the other hand, “we could have a favorable first semester, with the recovery of some sectors, with an income that would start to grow more, given that there are official opening of paritarians in April, unions that have automatic salary adjustments and others that adjust pension mobility. "

Agricultural harvest is a plus in the economy that comes "especially in corn and soybeans, which had a strong rebound after the drought, "says Sigout Gravina." And also other tradable sectors that react with the highest exchange rate, such as agriculture, mining, oil and gas, among others. For example, automotive, will be able to export more. "

According to Ramiro Castiñeirafrom econometric2019 begins to "iron", "touch the floor" of the crisis. With the exception of tourism, which is the only candidate for recovery, the first quarter of the year is "still difficult." Only after the second quarter, with the harvest in agriculture, you can begin to restore activity, the forecast.

Fausto SpornoI study economist Ferreres & AsociadosAlso believes that the first quarter of 2019 is difficult. “With the exception of tourism, there are no variables that put too much pressure on the economy. But after the second quarter, positive data may come from the hands of agriculture, which will have faster growth, and some industries, ”he says.

As for inflation, which this year reaches 48%, economists agree that it will remain lower over the next year. In fact, according to the expectations of analysts of the Central Bank, the price index (CPI), will increase by 27.5% in 2019.

Consumption, another weight variable in economic activity, must also wait several months to emerge. "There will be partial recovery to improve revenues ", warns Sigaut Gravina. But do not forget that in 2018, purchasing power lost about 11 points amid inflation, the analyst Clarin recalled.

Meanwhile, the purchase of durable goods will follow the path slower than mass consumptionAccording to experts, due to lack of credit. In particular, sales in supermarkets, warehouses and self-service (mass consumption) are also destined to wait some time for their recovery.

Juan Manuel Primbas, an analyst at Kantar Worldpanel, a specialized consulting company, warns that in the first half of 2019 consumption will fall by 4%. And in the second semester, 2% will grow,

On the impact of the international context on the local economy, "It does not look favorable for next year"warned a recent Ecolatina report: "International financial conditions will be somewhat more stringent, and we do not expect an increase in commodity prices." Nevertheless, the growth prospects of our major trading partners are positive, especially in Brazil, ”the report says.

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