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LatinNews Daily - 15 September 2020

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In brief: Argentina bets on domestic consumption

* Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández has announced his government’s latest measure to kickstart domestic consumption. Speaking at a bathroom-fittings producer in a suburb of Buenos Aires, Fernández said Argentina needs to start spending, before presenting a policy called 'Precios cuidados' for the construction sector. The policy will see “89 products from leading producers, in 17 different categories, both structural work and finishing” made available “at a price 5% lower than the market”. Products include a range of materials beyond those used in bathrooms, including cement, bricks and insulation material. They will be distributed to 500 leading stores across the country. Productive development minister, Matías Kulfas, added, “construction is going to be fundamental and vital in the reactivation of the economy, of which we are already seeing some concrete signs”. The latest figures from the national statistics institute (Indec) show construction activity grew by 6.9% in July, however, this followed a 34% contraction across the first seven months of 2020. The new policy adds to the relaunch on 9 September of ‘Ahora 12,’ a program that permits individuals to pay for a range of goods and services in 12 or 18 monthly payments and with a three-month grace period.