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Our GDP growth forecast for 2023 stands at -0.4%.
2024/01/15 | Julio Ruiz

The monthly GDP proxy expanded (0.3% YoY) in November for the first time, after six months of consecutive annual contractions. The headline figure was slightly above market consensus of 0.1% (as per Bloomberg), but below our forecast of 0.9%. As has been the case in previous months, the headline figure was dragged by construction (-8.1% yoy in November), while commerce and services grew at a soft pace of 1.3% and 0.6%, respectively. On the other hand, mining output increased at a solid 8.0% and fishing output stood at a high 61%, reflecting favorable base effects. The quarterly annual rate of the monthly GDP fell by -0.6% in November (from -1.0% in 3Q23), with primary and non-primary activity at 4.0% (from 3.4%) and -2.0% (from -2.1%), respectively.

At the margin, momentum remained weak. Using official seasonally adjusted series, the monthly GDP expanded at 0.8% mom/sa in November, taking the quarter over quarter (non-annualized) growth rate to 0.5% in November (from 0.2% in 3Q23).

Our GDP growth forecast for 2023 stands at -0.4%, recovering this year to 2.5%.  A likely moderate/weak El Niño phenomenon will likely weigh on the activity rebound in 1Q24. Weak activity amid continued progress in the disinflationary process, will likely lead the central bank to continue easing monetary policy (with 25-bp rate cuts) in 1H24, from the current 6.50% down to 5% by July-2024, and staying at that level through yearend.