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Argentina economy sank 6.2% in Q4'18

Argentina's GDP dropped by 6.2% year over year during the fourth quarter of 2018 on the back of a sharp decline in investment and private spending, official figures released March 21 showed.

The quarterly result from the national statistics agency, INDEC, brought the country's economic contraction for the whole of 2018 to 2.5%.

Argentina has struggled to fully emerge from a currency and inflationary crisis that rattled markets for much of 2018, despite efforts from its central bank. Banco Central de la República Argentina recently firmed its aggressive monetary stance further, driving its benchmark interest rate to roughly 65% and increasing its level of market purchases to keep its currency in check.

President Mauricio Macri, who is up for re-election later this year, sees exchange rate stability as a cornerstone for his government's political survival.

Separately, INDEC also published a labor market report showing that Argentina's unemployment rate ticked to 9.1% in the fourth quarter from 7.2% a year before.