Argentina’s economy will contract 12% in 2020 as pandemic batters output: central bank poll


FILE PHOTO: A homeless woman reflects on an electronic board showing currency exchange rates, in Buenos Aires, Argentina December 11, 2019. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Argentina’s economy is expected to contract 12% in 2020, a monthly survey of central bank analysts showed on Friday, worse than the previous estimate of a 9.4% decline, as that production is being ravaged by measures to tame the coronavirus epidemic.

The central bank’s poll of 41 analysts forecast inflation to be 40.7% this year. Prices are expected to have risen 2% in June, according to the survey.

The poll found a silver lining, noting that “growth expectations for the remaining quarters of 2020 suggest the effect of the coronavirus pandemic is seen as transitory.”

The grim economic picture comes as Argentina tries to restructure about $65 billion in debt after defaulting on its sovereign bonds earlier this year. The South American nation is preparing a final debt restructuring offer to creditors that could be formally sent to U.S. regulators within days, a government source told Reuters on Friday.

Analysts predict that the average nominal exchange rate will reach 88 pesos per dollar in December 2020 and 122.5 pesos per dollar in December 2021.

Reporting by Maximilian Heath; written by Dave Sherwood; Editing by Dan Grebler

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