The INDEC manufacturing production index indicates that 2023 was one of the worst years for the national industry in almost a decade. Only three months in 2019 and two in 2020 recorded lower levels than the average drop of 12.8% in December 2023. This paints a grim picture for the national industry, with factory activities experiencing significant declines in December 2023 compared to December 2022.
The agricultural machinery, steel industry, electrical equipment, appliances, and base metals industries all experienced substantial decreases. Additionally, the production of food and drinks was also affected, with significant drops in sectors such as beef and oilseed grinding. These declines reflect long-term issues within the industry, including low-quality, unstable and unproductive jobs and deteriorating salaries. Informal employment without labor or social coverage has reached around 47% of existing employment in the country.
The construction statistics also reflect a bleak outlook, with a drop of 12.2% in December 2023. Business expectations on employment, hours worked, and GDP all indicate a lack of optimism within the industrial sector. This is also evident in retail sales figures, which show an average drop of 28.5% in January compared to January of the previous year.
The Central Bank’s survey predicts that it will take until July for the price index to return to single-digit numbers