The World Bank improved its growth projection for the Argentine economy this year: the entity estimates that the GDP will recover by 6.4%, 1.5 percentage points more than foreseen in its previous report. Thus, it is closer to different private estimates that show that the rebound for this year could, if some factors are taken into account, exceed 7%.
The unemployment rate stood at 11% at the end of the last quarter of 2020, 0.7 percentage points down concerning the third quarter, but up 2.1% compared with 2019.
The Argentine e-commerce multinational Tiendanube confirmed the last hours' investment of $89 million made by Accel Partner, Thorntree Capital, Qualcomm Ventures, Kaszek and Kevin Efrusy. It is the second investment fund disbursement in just five months. They plan to grow 15 to 20 times in five years.
After December's deficit, which interrupted 27 consecutive months of positive results, the trade balance started the year with a trade surplus of over $1 billion. The trend seems to sustain during February. According to different consulting firms, in the second month of 2021, the Argentine Trade Exchange (ICA) recorded a favourable balance of $865 million, sustained by exports from the agricultural sector.
Sales in supermarkets -measured at constant prices- recorded in January an improvement of 3.8% compared to the same month of 2020, while in large shopping malls they showed a decrease of 31.5% in the same period, according to the INDEC (National Institute of Statistics and Census).
Digital House, a company dedicated to training talent in the knowledge economy, has just received an injection of $50 million from its impressive headquarters in the Belgrano neighbourhood. It is the most significant investment for an organization of its kind, focused on immersive remote courses. Digital House has expanded throughout most of Latin America. It is an expert in training new technologies: Mercado Libre, Globant and the River Wood fund, the leading investors.
Brent crude oil rose 5.4% and closed at $64. WTI crude oil rose 5.3% and closed at $60.80. The increases are due to a report on crude oil inventories in the United States, which showed a higher demand from refineries, and to difficulties in navigation in the Suez Canal, a key route for crude oil shipments from Arab oilfields.
Agricultural machinery sales recorded, in 2020, a turnover of 100.8 billion pesos ($1.10 bn), which represents an 80% increase compared to 2019. Argentine firms were benefited by the closure of the import of many implements or by the difficulties global companies encountered to make payments abroad during 2020 due to exchange restrictions.
The Government confirmed that the IMF would grant the country $4.35 billion in Special Drawing Rights. It would alleviate the Government's economic plan and would allow the country to meet its maturities with the organization this year.
The inauguration of the US Secretary of Commerce, Gina Raimondo, came with disturbing news for Argentina: she anticipated global tariffs changes in the short term. Argentina achieved quotas for steel exports of 180,000 tons complied with and that enter without paying tariffs. The same applies to aluminium, which shipped without restrictions. It maintained until now. For Argentina, this means total exports of $700 million. That is what is at stake if this preference is modified.