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Argentine Cuts GDP Estimates for Jan.-Sept. 2013 by a Third

Argentina reduced economic growth estimates for the first three quarters of 2013 by more than a third after the government changed the base year used in its calculations following last year’s censure by the IMF for misreporting economic data.

Latin America’s second-biggest economy grew by an average of 3.5 percent in the first three quarters of the year, the national statistics agency said today after releasing calculations using a base year of 2004. Argentina last year said GDP rose 5.6 percent in the same period using a base year of 1993.

Argentina’s statistics institute today said the economy grew 1.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 and maintained its estimate for 2013 growth at 3 percent, below the 3.22 percent threshold at which it would pay GDP warrant holders an estimated $3 billion.

“My impression is that the numbers are more accurate than before but they’re still not the same numbers that we had,” Fausto Spotorno, chief economist at Buenos Aires-based research firm Orlando Ferreres y Asociado, said in a telephone interview.

The economy grew an average of 4.6 percent a year between 2005 and 2012 according to Spotorno’s estimates.

Argentina’s economy grew by an average of 5.9 percent a year between 2005 and 2012, 0.9 percentage points less a year than previously reported after the government changed the base year for gross domestic product estimates.

The national statistics agency rounded down growth by about 13 percent in the period by changing the base year for calculations to 2004 from 1993.

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