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

UPDATE 1-Argentina says Feb industrial output fell 6.0 pct vs Feb 2016

(Adds macroeconomic and political context)

BUENOS AIRES, March 30 (Reuters) - Argentine industrial production fell 6.0 percent in February versus the same month last year, national statistics agency Indec said on Thursday, marking the 13th straight month of shrinking output.

The Argentine economy grew in the second half of 2016 after shrinking for three straight quarters, official data shows. But industrial production has remained weak, falling 1.1 percent year-on-year in January after a 4.6 percent decline in full-year 2016 versus 2015.

Mauricio Macri, the free markets advocate who won the presidency in 2015 following more than a decade of heavy government intervention in the economy, wants the recovery to gain enough momentum to boost his flagging approval ratings ahead of key congressional elections in October. (Reporting by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Sandra Maler)

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