UPDATE 2-Argentina's economy shrinks for third straight quarter
(Adds revisions to prior quarters' figures, breakdown of sectors contributing to contraction, economic background)
By Luc Cohen
BUENOS AIRES, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Argentina said on Thursday the economy shrank 2.1 percent in the second quarter from the first quarter of 2016, as the country remained mired in recession during the first year of President Mauricio Macri's administration.
Compared with the same quarter of 2015, gross domestic product shrank 3.4 percent in the April-to-June period, the first quarter of year-on-year contraction since at least 2015. The government expects a return to annual growth in 2017.
Year-over-year declines in Argentina's construction, manufacturing and agriculture industries weighed most heavily on the economy in the second quarter, according to Indec, the government statistics agency.
The South American country had growth in the public sector, however, as well as restaurants and hotels and transportation.
Macri's center-right administration, which took office in December after more than a decade of leftist rule, has been trying to reform the economy through free-market measures.
It has eliminated currency controls and grains export taxes, lowered utility subsidies and settled a long-standing lawsuit with bond-holders that had kept the country in default.
Indec revised its estimate for the third quarter of 2015 to growth of 0.1 percent from the prior quarter, up from a contraction of -0.1 percent. That means the second quarter of 2016 was the third consecutive quarter of contraction. Continuación...