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 January 22nd, 2020

SEIDO LAC7 - Argentina's Economic and Political Perception Report - January 2020 (Spanish version here)

We would like to share with you our "Argentina's Economic and Political Perception Report". In this opportunity, we present the results of our national online survey with 2.875 respondents, done between the 11th and 24th of December.  Among the main conclusions we find that:
  • After taking office, Fernández's net image reached a new maximum in December of 43%, rising 25pp since November. Followed by Roberto Lavagna (25%), Horacio Rodríguez Larreta (24%) and Pope Francis (16%).
  • Most of the respondents (36%) find that the new government only benefited the population, rather than a few sectors. On the contrary, from society's perception, the outgoing government only benefited a few sectors (43%). About the administration of public spending, while participants think that the incoming government administers neither efficiently nor inefficiently (37%), they thought that the outgoing one administered in a very inefficient or inefficient way (51%). Nevertheless, it is important to take into account that the opinions about Fernández's government are only expectations.
  • This month the Consumer Confidence Index reached 40.5 points, it increased by approximately 2.37% since November, which was roughly 39.5. 
  • Regarding the economic situation, expectations towards a better 2020 improved slightly, both at a personal and general level. 54% of participants consider that their personal economic situation is worse than last year and 54% for the country as a whole compared to 61% and 66%, respectively, of the previous survey. For 2020, 55% believe they will be better and 49% believe that the overall economic situation will improve, compared to 43% and 38%, respectively, from the previous month.
  • Additionally, most of the participants think that it is still not a good time to make purchases of durable goods (72%) nor real estate (84%), compared to 69% and 83%, respectively of the previous survey.
  • In terms of inflation expectations, they have improved as most of the participants believe that it will be the same in 2020 than the previous year (41% vs 38% of the previous survey) followed by those who think it will be lower (31% vs 27%) while only the minority think it will increase (29% vs 35%). 
  • Political "wedge" cut the expectation in two. 77% of those who voted for Fernandez think that the overall economic conditions will improve in 2020 and only 14% of those who voted for Macri think so. Alternatively, 47% of this last group think the economy will get worse (vs 2% among Kirchnerists).
 Image of the main political figures
% of total
Section 1. Public image of the main political figures
Fernández's net image reached a maximum of +43% in December. He improved 25pp since November, after almost two months since his triumph in the presidential elections. He becomes now the political figure with the best net image, followed by Lavagna, Rodríguez Larreta and Pope Francis. For his part, the outgoing president shows a fall in his net image of 5pp since last month to stand at -23%. Kicillof and CFK upgraded their net images by 13pp and 5pp respectively. While Vidal's image did not show any significant variation.  
Net image
% of total

After Fernández has been sworn in as president, his positive image reached a record of 63%. On the other hand, Macri's positive image fell slightly standing at 30%. Thus, Fernandez increased 12pp compared to November while Macri fell 4pp. The image of CFK and Kicillof are located above Vidal (who is positioned at 42%) at 49% and 50% respectively.
Positive image
% of total

After his presidential inauguration, Fernández's negative image decreased significantly while Macri's image deteriorates slightly. Thus, in December Fernandez's negative image improved 13pp and is now located at 20%. On the other hand, there is a slight deterioration (1pp) in the negative image of Macri, which is situated at 53%. Furthermore, Vidal and CFK's negative images resemble each other, at 41% and 42% respectively. Also, their images did not show any significant variation from last month. For its part, Kicillof's negative image also showed an improvement (-7pp) and is now at 34%. 
Negative image
% of total

Net image and political affinity
% of total

Note: The table shows the net image of each figure dividing the survey participant by their political affinity. The fifth columns summarizes.
Section 2. Economic perception and expectations
Regarding the current economic situation, both at a personal and at a general level, we observe that people are more optimistic about the future situation in December's poll than they were in November poll, possibly associated with the expectations of a new government.  

It is important to highlight that the personal expectations for the future economic situation have improved. Looking at the next twelve months, the percentage of people who expect their economic situation to be worse decrease to 13% (vs. 38% in our last poll) while 55% and 32% consider they will be better or the same, respectively (vs 27% and 28% in November). On the other hand, if we take a look at the current economic situation,  54% of participants consider that their personal economic situation is worse nowadays compared to twelve months ago. In addition to this, as to durable goods purchases, most believe that it is not a good time to make purchases of durable goods (72%) and neither real estate (84%).

In relation to the general economic future situation, it also improved considering the expectations for next year. According to the numbers, 49% believe that the economic situation will improve, 31% believe that it will remain the same and 20% that it will get worse. However, when it comes to the perception of the current general economic situation, 54% of respondents believe that it is worse than 12 months ago while that figure was 69% in November.

General economic perception (left) and expectations (right)
% of total

Inflation expectations

Regarding inflation perception and expectations, 59% of respondents believe that inflation is increasing nowadays compared to a year ago (vs. 73% in our last survey) while 36% of them think it is stable. For the next twelve months, opinions are quite divided but a bit more optimistic than our previous survey: 31% of participants consider inflation will be lower, 41% that it will remain the same and 29% consider it will be higher.
Economic perception and expectations
% of total

This month the Cconsumer Confidence Index reached 40.5 points, it increased by approximately 2.37% since November, which was roughly 39.5.

Economic perception and expectations according to October's vote
There is a clear distinction between Kirchnerism and Cambiemos' voters current situation and future expectations. Regarding the expectations for the future personal economic situation, there were heterogeneous responses: 13% believe that it will get worse, 32% believe that it will remain the same as in 2019 and 55% that it will be better. Considering their current personal economic situation, 64% of those who voted Fernández perceive that it is worse and 78% of them think that next year their situation will get better. On the other hand, among those who voted for Mauricio Macri, 14% believe that the situation improved, 50% consider that it is the same as the previous year and 36% that it deteriorated.
Personal economic situation and October's vote
% of total

This difference between voters is also observed in their views with respect to the general economic situation. When disaggregating the information among the different voting options in October, it is observed that the majority of those who voted for Fernández-Fernández (59%) consider that the economic situation of the country today is worse compared to the last twelve months while those who voted for Macri-Pichetto formula do not show the same behavior; 9% believe that the economy improved, 43% that remained the same and 48% considered that the situation worsened. Expectations for the next twelve months conclude that 47% of those who voted for Macri think that the general economic situation will be worse than the current situation and 39% of them think it will remain the same. Contrary to this, among those who voted for Fernández, 77% of them expect the economy to get better (+14pp than the previous survey) while 20% of them think it will stay the same and only 2% expect it to get worse.
General economic situation and October's vote
% of total

When analyzing in terms of inflation and candidates for the October's elections, it is observed that 55% of those who voted for Fernandez consider that inflation is currently rising and 89% believe that next year it will be the same or lower. On the other hand, 62% of Macri voters believe that inflation is rising while 36% consider it is stable over the previous twelve months. When asked about inflation expectations for the next twelve months, 52% of those who voted for Macri believe that inflation will continue increasing and 37% that it will remain stable.
Inflation expectations and October's vote
% of total
Section 3. Government approval
Since December was the first month of the new government, people's opinions have strongly varied from our previous survey and also, the trend is likely to settle in the coming months when the effects of the new policies implemented will be clearly observed. For now, the answers are based more on expectations than on a fact itself.
As regards to the capacity that the government has to solve problems, it is not that clear as 40% of respondents think that the government's ability to solve problems is good or very good while 24% of them think it is bad or very bad and 36% of them are in between those two. Also, 20% of them believe that all members of the government (Fernández's administration) are corrupt while 36% of respondents believe that none of them are corrupt. Additionally, around 30% of participants think that the incoming government is administrating in an inefficient or a very inefficient way the public spending but, on the contrary, 35% of them believe it is well or very well administered. Finally, 36% of respondents consider the new administration is working for the benefit of all sectors, however, 20% consider the government only acts for the benefit of only a few sectors.

In contrast to these numbers, the outgoing government showed more polarized opinions in November. There was a strong belief among Argentina's society that the government worked for the benefit of only a few sectors (43%) instead of the benefit of the population (18%). Also, most of the respondents (51%) think that the outgoing government administered public spending in a very inefficient or inefficient way while only 12% think it did very efficiently. Furthermore, there is also a strong acceptance that all members of the government (Macri's administration) are corrupt (43%) or that the vast majority of them are corrupt (17%). Meanwhile, 28% of respondents believe that none of them are corrupt or that only a minority are corrupt. Finally, 40% of participants consider that the government's capacity to solve problems is very good but 7% of them believe that it is very bad.

Government approval 
% of total

Note: 1 corresponds to the worse option and 5 corresponds to the most favourable option. (See methodological note)

Corruption and political affinity
Political alliances that have similar ideas also have significant implications on their political perceptions. When looking at previous information according to which political alliance people are close to we find that 54% of those close to 'Juntos por el Cambio' believe that all or most members of the incoming government are corrupt and only 11% of them think that they are not corrupt. On the other hand, 58% of those close to 'Kirchnerismo' believe that members of the incoming government are not corrupt, while 9% think that most or all of them are corrupt.

Corruption and political affinity
% of total

Methodological note

Sample: 2875 nationwide cases 
Temporal window: between 11th and 24th of December
Capture methodology: Online survey
Post-treatment by age, sex, educational level and geographical area

Governemnt approval questions:
Problem resolution: How do you think it is the government's ability to solve the country's problems?
1: Very bad; 2: Bad; 3: neither good nor bad; 4: Good; 5: Very good
Corruption: How do you think they are the members of the national government?
1:All corrupts; 2: Most corrupt; 3: Some corrupt; Minority corrupt; None corrupt

Public spending administration: How do you think the government manages public spending?
1: Very inefficient; 2:A bit efficient; 3: neither efficient nor inefficient; 4: a bit inefficient; 5: Very inefficient

Population benefit: Would you say that in general the national government (Frente de Todos' government) acts with the benefit of a few (1) sectors or the general benefit (5)?
1:Benefit of a few sectors; 2:Benefit of some sectors; 3: neither of a few sector nor the population; 4: Most people; 5: All population.

Disclaimer: The content of this email is confidential and only meant to be seen by the receiver. This report may not be resent, reproduced or redistributed to any third party, in entirely or partially, for any purpose, without the prior written consent of SEIDO. The source data of this report are Elypsis SRL until August 11th, 2019 and SEIDO since that date. Reproduced with authorization of respective owners. The opinions expressed are in good faith and while every care has been taken in preparing these documents, SEIDO makes no representations and gives no warranties of whatever nature in respect of these documents, including but not limited to the accuracy or completeness of any information, facts and/or opinions contained therein. SEIDO , the directors, employees and agents cannot be held liable for the use of and reliance of the opinions, estimates, forecasts and findings in these documents.
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