WRAPUP 1-Argentine factory output eases, growth stays strong

* Industrial output up 7.6 percent in July

* Economic activity up 11.1 percent in June

By Luis Andres Henao

BUENOS AIRES, Aug 20 (BestGrowthStock) – Argentine economic
activity surged in June but strong industrial output that has
driven expansion in Latin America’s No. 3 economy showed signs
of easing, official data showed on Friday.

Industrial output (ARIO=ECI: ) rose 7.6 percent in July from
the same month last year, falling short of market expectations
but boosted by production of cars and steel, the INDEC national
statistics agency said.

The median forecast in a Reuters poll was for an 8.5
percent year-on-year increase in industrial output.

Argentina’s economic activity (AREAI=ECI: ) rose 11.1 percent
in June from the same month a year earlier, the government
said, confirming the number given earlier this week by
President Cristina Fernandez. [ID:nN18179828]

The increase in the monthly EMAE economic activity index
outpaced a median forecast for an increase of 10.2 percent in a
Reuters poll of analysts.

The economy shrank 0.6 percent in June from May.

Consumer spending and exports, especially soy after a
bumper harvest, boosted growth in June.

Argentina is a leading global agricultural supplier and
ranks as the world’s No. 3 soy exporter and the top world
supplier of soy oil and meal.

“These numbers confirm that this is a year in which the
Argentine economy is growing strongly,” said Miguel Kiguel, a
former deputy finance secretary. “The rise of Brazil and the
price of soy have been very important.”

Longer-term prospects for local industry are clouded by
high inflation, estimated by private economists at between 25
and 30 percent annually, and surging wage demands that eat into
the local currency’s competitive edge.
(Additional reporting by Alexandra Ulmer, Kristina Cooke,
Helen Popper and Juliana Castilla; editing by Todd Eastham)

WRAPUP 1-Argentine factory output eases, growth stays strong