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Activity was dragged by manufacturing, construction and services sectors

The monthly GDP (IGAE) increased 3.8% yoy in February (from 4.5% in January), below our forecast of 4.5% and market consensus of 4.0% (as per Bloomberg). Using calendar-adjusted figures (published by the Statistics Institute), the monthly GDP expanded at the same pace, taking the quarterly annual rate to 3.6% in February (from 3.7% in 4Q22). Looking at the breakdown (using calendar adjusted figures), the quarterly annual rate of industrial output was 3.1% in February (from 3.3% in 4Q22), while activity in the services sector grew 3.8% (from 3.7%).



Sequentially, monthly GDP posted a soft expansion of 0.1% mom/sa dragged by manufacturing (-0.5%), construction (-0.2) and services (-0.1%) sectors, while mining output posted a strong expansion of 4.1% likely associated to statistical volatility. Still, momentum remains decent, with the quarter-over-quarter seasonally adjusted annualized growth rate (qoq/saar) of the monthly GDP at 2.6% in February (from 2.1% in 4Q22), with manufacturing and services sectors at 2.2% (from -1.0%) and 2.4% (from 1.1%), respectively, while construction output stood at 11.2% (from 11.3%).

The figure is consistent with a still solid 1Q23 GDP growth which puts some upward bias to our 2023 forecast of 1.8%. This Friday the release of the GDP flash estimate for the first quarter of this year will give us more guidance. Looking forward, we expect activity to slow down in the last three quarters of this year given a softer U.S. economy.

Julio Ruiz