Argentina's Economy Expanded by 2.1% in 2015 on Soy Harvest

March 31, 2016 06:46 AM

Argentina’s economy grew 2.1 percent in 2015 as a record soy harvest boosted the country’s agricultural exports.

Gross domestic product in South America’s second-largest economy expanded by 0.9 percent in the fourth quarter and 3.5 percent in the third quarter, the national statistics agency said Wednesday. The median estimate of four economists in a Bloomberg survey was for a contraction of 0.8 percent in the fourth quarter.

Last year’s growth was led by a boom in agricultural exports following a record soybean harvest of 61.4 million metric tons. Agriculture grew 6.4 percent last year while construction expanded by 5 percent, according to Indec.

The government of President Mauricio Macri, who assumed office in December, declared a ’statistical emergency’ and vowed to overhaul the indexes produced by the statistics agency known as Indec, saying they were inaccurate. It’s a belief shared by private economists and the International Monetary Fund which sanctioned Argentina in 2013 for producing unreliable economic data.

The IMF said June 3 that Argentina is not yet in full compliance on its data reporting and extended the deadline by a year to address inconsistencies within its inflation and GDP indexes.

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