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Source: Merco Press

President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner announced Friday that Argentina’s economy is 2010 expanded 9.1% and unemployment in the fourth quarter experienced a further drop and now stands at a record low of 7.3%.

The news was later officially released by the Statistics and Census Office, Indec.

“If to this we add the fact that there has been a 35% reduction in the number of undocumented workers, this means that now every 10 jobs 9 are legal”, underlined the Argentine president during a press conference in Government House for the launching of public works projects.

Mrs. Kirchner also announced the purchase of 1.5 million computers for school-children following on neighbouring Uruguay’s successful educational experience.

However private consultants although admitting the strong performance of the Argentine economy last year, are more conservative about the 2010 estimates and anticipate GDP will slow this year as manufacturing hits bottlenecks.

The influential local think tank Orlando J. Ferreres, OJF, said that the general activity index in January was up 8.4% on the year and rose 0.5% on the month. Economic activity during all of 2010 was up 8.2% from the previous year, according to OJF.

In the critical year 2009 the Argentine GDP managed a 0.9% expansion according to Indec.

Though growth is strong, OJF said the economy is brushing up against capacity and predicts more moderate growth this year of 4%. “We expect a deceleration in economic growth this year as the economy is operating near potential and the bottlenecks are worse,” OJF said.

Growth this year is expected to be led by manufacturing, construction and services, while farming's contribution to the economy is likely to be flat on the year, OJF said.

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