BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Argentina’s economy is likely to contract 12% in 2020 due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, a central bank survey of economists showed on Friday, a slightly more positive outlook than a month earlier.
The forecast compares to the 12.5% estimated the previous month in a survey of specialists published on Friday by the Argentine central bank (BCRA).
The economists saw the economy contracting 16.6% in the second quarter, from the 17% previously calculated, while in the third quarter they saw it growing 8.7%, compared to a previously anticipated 8%.
“The growth expectation for the remaining quarters of 2020 suggests that the effect of the coronavirus pandemic is perceived as transitory,” the bank said of the survey.
As of Friday, Argentina had registered 451,198 cases of coronavirus and 9,468 deaths. The second largest economy in South America has a population of about 45 million inhabitants.
The economists polled by the central bank saw inflation for 2020 at 37.8%, and inflation in August at 2.7%.
They saw the average nominal exchange rate in Argentina reaching 84.3 pesos to the dollar in December 2020 and 122 pesos in the same month of 2021.
The survey was carried out among consulting firms, research centers, financial entities and analysts between Aug. 27 and 31.
(Reporting by Maximilian Heath; writing Aislinn Laing; Editing by Sandra Maler)