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Source: Bloomberg
By: Charlie Devereux

Embattled President Mauricio Macri can breath a sigh of relief after new figures show Argentina’s economy emerged from recession in the third quarter, earlier than previously estimated, with growth then accelerating in the fourth.

Gross domestic product expanded 0.5 percent in the last three months of the year from the previous quarter, the national statistics agency said in a statement Tuesday. Third quarter growth was revised to 0.1 percent, from a decline of 0.2 percent. Still, for the full year, the economy contracted 2.3 percent.

“There’s enough evidence here to support the government’s claim that the economy is now through the worst,” Neil Shearing, chief emerging markets economist at Capital Economics, wrote in an emailed report.

The incipient recovery in production is the first sign that Macri’s policies are gaining traction after a year in which inflation soared, unemployment rose and purchasing power declined. Still, the rebound is too weak for labor unions planning the first national strike under Macri for April 6, shutting down public transport and bringing the country to a halt on the first full day of the World Economic Forum in Buenos Aires.