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LatinNews Daily - 21 May 2021

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In brief: Year-on-year uptick in Argentina’s economic activity in March

* Argentina’s national statistics institute (Indec) has released the latest figures for its monthly index of economic activity (Emae), which serves as a proxy for GDP, and which registered a 11.4% positive variation in March 2021 compared with the previous year. This is the first time in almost two years that the Emae has registered a positive result year-on-year. However, Argentina’s economic activity remains stagnant as, in seasonally-adjusted terms, the March Emae contracted 0.2% compared with February. The year-on-year increase in economic activity was driven by a strong performance in fishing (59.2%), construction (44.1%), the manufacturing industry (28.9), and retail (23.3%), whereas the hotel and restaurant sector suffered a 22.3% contraction. The Emae’s overall year-on-year performance is largely due to the low basis of comparison, with the first impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic in March 2020 producing a sharp economic downturn that month.