* Data to be released on Friday by statistics agency
* President reports Jan-May economic activity of 4.1 pct
BUENOS AIRES, July 17 Argentina's economic
activity jumped 7.8 percent in May from a year earlier
, President Cristina Fernandez said in a televised
speech on Wednesday.
Fernandez announced the data two days earlier than it was to
have been released by the national statistics institute. The
figure came in well above the 6.1 percent expected by a Reuters
poll of economists.
Between January and May, Argentina's economy expanded 4.1
percent versus the same period last year, Fernandez said. In
April, economic activity grew a faster-than-expected 7 percent.
The monthly EMAE economic activity index is a close proxy
for gross domestic product, which is reported quarterly. The
EMAE figures are always revised after the GDP numbers are
released to put them in line.
Argentina is widely accused of manipulating inflation data
and, to a lesser extent, growth data. It faces potential
sanctions by the International Monetary Fund, which has issued a
"declaration of censure" against Argentina over the quality of
Latin America's No. 3 economy grew just 1.9 percent in 2012
versus 8.9 percent in 2011, according to official data. This
reflected weak global demand for its exports, a poor grains
harvest, high inflation and the negative impact of currency and
trade controls on investment.
More recent data indicates the economy is rebounding thanks
to the construction and auto sectors and a better grains