Weekly Report - 3 May 2005

Tracking trends

ARGENTINA | Construction slowdown continues. Construction activity in March was 2.4% lower than in February, making it the third month running of falling rates. This left the total for the first quarter of the year 3.4% above that of the year prior. The slowdown is significant because the building industry is one of the biggest employers. Its rapid expansion of the past two years (37.6% in 2003, 20.1% in 2004) helped bring down the open unemployment rate from 15.6% when President Néstor Kirchner took office in May 2003 to its current level of 12.1%.

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