April 27, 2017 / 7:30 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Argentina industrial output falls for 14th straight month

(Adds background on economy, details from report, paragraphs 2-4)

BUENOS AIRES, April 27 (Reuters) - Argentina’s industrial production fell 0.4 percent in March from the same month a year earlier, national statistics agency Indec said on Thursday, the 14th straight month of shrinking output.

That was a smaller decline than the median expectation for a 3.0 percent drop in a Reuters poll, and marked the smallest year-on-year decline since February 2016.

Argentina exited recession with two quarters of modest growth last year, but the recovery has sputtered as activity has fallen in January and February. But the economy is expected to rebound in March, and Treasury Minister Nicolas Dujovne said on Thursday growth would be positive overall in the first quarter.

In March, an 18 percent decline in textile industry output and a 3.4 percent drop in the automobile industry weighed on overall production. But steel output grew 23.5 percent and cement production rose 16.6 percent in signs a major government infrastructure push was benefiting raw materials industries. (Reporting by Luc Cohen; Editing by Marguerita Choy and David Gregorio)

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