Industrial production continued on a downward path for the 18th straight month in January, according to figures released by the INDEC statistics bureau.
Manufacturing was 2.1 percent down in January in the yearly comparison, although it showed a 1.1 percent improvement when compared to December.
As has become the norm, the decline was led by the automobile sector, which saw a decline of 28.8 percent. The sector with the second-largest decline was clothing, which saw a 10.8 percent drop, followed by plastics (-9.5 percent) and printing (-5.6 percent), while companies that provide construction inputs saw a few signs of recovery (5.6 percent up).
The steady trends seen in manufacturing are expected to continue by most industry leaders, as 84.1 percent of those interviewed by INDEC said they were not awaiting demand improvements for February.
Dispute over cars
In its report, INDEC highlighted that car exports during January were down 61.1 percent according to the Association of Car Manufacturers (ADEFA). ADEFA has also pointed out that new car sales are 27 percent down in the same period.
Throughout Latin America, countries have been renegotiating their trade agreements in the car sector, as demand has dropped across the region.
Yesterday, Industry Minister Débora Giorgi came out against México’s proposal, saying it calls for a return “to free trade” to end with quotas, as in her view that would hurt local production and integration in the value-added chain. “Cristina Fernández de Kirchner replaced free trade with Mexico with administrated trade through a three-year arrangement that expires on March 19. It was successful because it generated fair trade results for more than US$150 million that were equally good for both countries. We want to continue that for five more years,” Giorgi said.
Date: February 27, 2015