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Activity should gradually improve during the rest of the year

The monthly GDP proxy fell by 0.6% yoy in August (from -1.3% in July), below our forecast and market expectations (as per Bloomberg), both at -0.2%. Agriculture (-4.1% yoy in August) and construction (-9.6%) remained weak, affected by the el Niño phenomenon. In contrast, fishing output and mining sector rose in annual terms in August by 49.1% and 5.2%, respectively, while services grew at a soft 0.4%. The quarterly annual rate of monthly GDP fell by 0.8% in August (from -0.5% in 2Q23), with primary and non-primary activity at 2.0% (from 1.4%) and -1.5% (from -1.1%), respectively.



At the margin, activity rebounded in August, but momentum remained soft. Using official seasonally adjusted series, the monthly GDP increased by 0.8% mom, taking the quarter over quarter (non-annualized) growth rate to a weak -0.3% in August (practically unchanged from the previous quarter).


Our 2023 GDP growth forecast of 0.5% has a downward bias given a softer than expected sequential rebound in 3Q23.  Activity will likely continue to recover during the rest of the year, albeit at a moderate pace given the still-restrictive monetary policy stance. A likely moderate El Niño scenario for 1Q24 will slow the expected recovery, resulting in a 3.0% growth rate for the year.

Juilo Ruiz