BUENOS AIRES, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Argentina’s growth slipped in the third quarter from the previous quarter, while a slew of other economic data on Friday were also weak, indicating that Latin America’s third-largest economy may be slowing.
Gross domestic product in the key grains exporter expanded by 5.5 percent in the third quarter versus the same 2012 period but shrank 0.2 percent compared with the second quarter of this year, the government’s INDEC statistics office said on Friday.
The South American country also reported a current account deficit of $1.27 billion for the same quarter, compared to a surplus of $692 million a year ago.
The current account is the broadest measure of a country’s foreign transactions, encompassing trade, services and an array of financial flows, including interest payments.
Meanwhile, industrial output shrank 4.7 percent in November from the same period a year ago, far undershooting a Reuters poll for a 0.6 percent rise.
The pile of negative data puts further pressure on the government of Cristina Fernandez, which has been struggling with popular discontent over high inflation, a recent spate of supermarket looting and power cuts.
Earlier on Friday the government announced price freezes on up to 200 goods to try to contain inflation estimated by analysts at over 25 percent annually.
One piece of good news was a widening trade surplus , which rose 11 percent on the year in November to $901 million, beating market expectations for a $583 million rise.
Maintaining a trade surplus is critical for Argentina because it has been shut out of international capital markets since a massive debt default in 2002.