New York Judge Loretta Preska ruled against the country in the case brought by the vulture fund Aurelius due to how during 2014, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's government modified the mechanism for measuring the national GDP. If the case settled, the country should pay a minimum of $1.2 billion for the GDP Coupon. According to Preska, the government acted in "bad faith".
Formal employment in the construction industry continues to recover and in January registered a 2% monthly growth, thus exceeding 300,000 jobs once again. Construction employment grew by 2% monthly in January.
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.
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).
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.
Argentina is the IMF's primary debtor, owing to it $46 billion. For the organization, this represents almost one-third of its total debts. It is now urgent that in the talks and subsequent negotiations with the Fund, it is possible to postpone this year's maturities, which amount to $3.65 billion in principal and close to $1 billion in interest. Argentina's interest payments are almost half of what the IMF will charge all countries for that concept. Argentina is a good client for the Fund and a significant contributor to the Fund's annual cash flow.
The International Monetary Fund's executive directors are discussing a new allocation of special drawing rights (SDRs) of $650 billion to boost reserves and help the global recovery of Covid-19. For Argentina, this would mean an income in the order of $4.35 billion.