The forecasts of private analysts and those of the Government have one point in common: after the collapse of the economy in 2020 around 10%, in 2021 they agree that activity will rebound around 5%. While the Budget is forecast to rise 5.5%, the Latin Focus Consensus Forecast – a survey that groups 50 local and foreign consulting firms – averages 5%.
From there, the forecasts begin to distance themselves in terms of the dollar, and above all, inflation.
Days ago, the ranking of successes and mistakes of the 25 consulting firms that participate in the Market Expectations Survey (REM) that the Central Bank carries out every month was known. On the winning podium appear the Credicoop bank, the consulting firm Rubinstein y Asociados and the Broda Study.
From the Government the axis was put in showing how much the consultants screwed up with respect to the inflation of 2020, which finally was 36.1%, while for the market average it anticipated 42.2%. The REM ranking was retweeted by officials such as the Secretary of Tax Policy, Roberto Arias. From social networks, the militancy argued that this divergence had an ideological bias: the consulting firms, mostly more closely related to the Cambiemos administration’s policies, underestimated inflation between 2016 and 2019 and overestimated it in 2020, just for being on the sidewalk in front of Kirchnerism.
The analysis did not take into account the pandemic effect, an unexpected factor a year ago that officials omitted in their speeches every time they refer to the 17 percentage points that it yielded to inflation between 2019 and 2020.
From the private sector they respond in chorus that such a drop was only possible because the quarantine paralyzed the activity and with it the rise in prices. On this, the Government lowered the tariffs and strengthened the control of prices in mass products while the joint ones were eclipsed by the agreements to limit the loss of jobs.
Even so, the prices of goods jumped 44% in the year, while the regulated ones rose just 14.8% and account for the drag that remains for this year.
With this, the Government maintains its projection of inflation of 29%, in line with the reduction of five points per year promoted by Minister Martín Guzman. Private screenings are drier. Latin Focus places it at 48.9%.
“The economy should recover, but it will remain fragile due to high inflation, capital controls, macroeconomic imbalances and unfavorable market policies,” the report said. That is why they expect a growth of 5% for this year and 2.6% for 2022.
The divergences are reactivated when what will happen to the dollar is projected: the private sector sees it at $ 128 at the end of the year, while the Government, which aims to use the currency partially as an inflationary anchor, places it at $ 102.
The consultancies add optimistic projections for the industry, which they see growing by 6.2% in 2021, while they expect private consumption to recover 5.3% and expand 3.3% in 2022.
For foreign trade, private projections forecast an 8.7% increase in exports, with a jump in imports of 14.2%. This will leave a trade surplus of US $ 14.4 billion this year.
By 2022, the panel expects exports to increase 4.9% and imports to grow 9.2%, with a balance in favor of US $ 13.1 billion.
Regarding unemployment, private consulting firms see it at 11.9% for this year, two tenths above the last INDEC record for the third quarter of 2020. For the entire year that Latin Focus ended, unemployment was 12.1% , which indicates that they do not foresee a sustained recovery of jobs despite the rebound in the economy since the Government puts all the chips to the reactivation of consumption and the increase in purchasing power.