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Argentine economy falls into recession after Q3 GDP contraction

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Argentine economy falls into recession after Q3 GDP contraction

Argentina fell into a technical recession after the country's GDP contracted 3.5% year over year in the third quarter, according to preliminary figures from national statistics agency INDEC.

The decline follows a 4.2% drop seen in the second quarter. A technical recession occurs when an economy declines for two consecutive quarters.

In seasonally adjusted terms, the economy slid 0.7% compared with the linked quarter. According to INDEC, exports fell 5.9% compared with the same period in 2017. Gross fixed capital formation sank 11.2%, while public and private consumption slid 5% and 4.5%, respectively.

A separate report from INDEC published a day earlier showed that the unemployment rate in Argentina hit 9.0%, lower than in the prior quarter but up from 8.3% a year ago.

In statements to La Nación, Economy Minister Nicolás Dujovne, minimized the drop in GDP as "part of the past," but expressed concerns over the "difficult months that lie ahead" and added that the government is taking the necessary measures for "Argentina to slowly recover."

The figures reflect a bleaker economic outlook than expected in the last quarter of the year and the beginning of 2019, amid government efforts to stabilize the economy through a $57.1 billion bailout package from the International Monetary Fund and the implementation of a more restrictive monetary policy by the Banco Central de la República Argentina.

These trends have also seen Argentina's credit default swaps rise and rattled the local Merval stock exchange earlier in the week.