The Economy of Argentina

The Economy of Argentina

Argentine Economy

Economy - overview: Argentina benefits from rich natural resources, a highly literate population, an export-oriented agricultural sector, and a diversified industrial base. Although one of the world's wealthiest countries 100 years ago, Argentina suffered during most of the 20th century from recurring economic crises, persistent fiscal and current account deficits, high inflation, mounting external debt, and capital flight. A severe depression, growing public and external indebtedness, and a bank run culminated in 2001 in the most serious economic, social, and political crisis in the country's turbulent history. Interim President Adolfo RODRIGUEZ SAA declared a default - the largest in history - on the government's foreign debt in December of that year, and abruptly resigned only a few days after taking office. His successor, Eduardo DUHALDE, announced an end to the peso's decade-long 1-to-1 peg to the US dollar in early 2002. The economy bottomed out that year, with real GDP 18% smaller than in 1998 and almost 60% of Argentines under the poverty line. Real GDP rebounded to grow by an average 9% annually over the subsequent five years, taking advantage of previously idled industrial capacity and labor, an audacious debt restructuring and reduced debt burden, excellent international financial conditions, and expansionary monetary and fiscal policies. Inflation also increased, however, during the administration of President Nestor KIRCHNER, which responded with price restraints on businesses, as well as export taxes and restraints, and beginning in early 2007, with understating inflation data. Cristina FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER succeeded her husband as President in late 2007, but was stymied in her efforts to hike export taxes still further by protesting farmers. Her government nationalized private pension funds in late 2008, which bolstered government coffers, but failed to assuage investors' concerns about the direction of economic policy.


GDP - real growth rate: 7.1% (2008 est.) 8.7% (2007 est.) 8.5% (2006 est.)

GDP - per capita:

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 9.2% industry: 34.1% services: 56.7% (2008 est.)

Population below poverty line:

Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 1% highest 10%: 35% (January-March 2007)

Distribution of family income - Gini index: 49 (January-March 2007)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

Labor force: 16.27 million note: urban areas only (2008 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 1% industry: 23% services: 76% (2008 est.)

Unemployment rate: 7.8% (September 2008)

Budget: revenues: $86.3 billion expenditures: $80.4 billion (2008 est.)

Industries: food processing, motor vehicles, consumer durables, textiles, chemicals and petrochemicals, printing, metallurgy, steel

Industrial production growth rate: 6.5% (2008 est.)

Electricity - production: 109.4 billion kWh (2006 est.)

Electricity - production by source:

Electricity - consumption: 97.72 billion kWh (2006 est.)

Electricity - exports: 2.628 billion kWh (2007 est.)

Electricity - imports: 10.27 billion kWh (2007 est.)

Oil - production: 790,800 bbl/day (2007 est.)

Oil - consumption: 440,000 bbl/day (2007 est.)

Oil - exports: 339,900 bbl/day (2005)

Oil - imports: 23,380 bbl/day (2005)

Oil - proved reserves: 2.587 billion bbl (1 January 2008 est.)

Natural gas - production: 44.8 billion cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - consumption: 44.1 billion cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - exports: 2.6 billion cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - imports: 1.9 billion cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves: 446 billion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)

Agriculture - products: sunflower seeds, lemons, soybeans, grapes, corn, tobacco, peanuts, tea, wheat; livestock

Exports: $73 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Exports - commodities: soybeans and derivatives, petroleum and gas, vehicles, corn, wheat

Exports - partners: Brazil 19.1%, China 9.4%, US 7.9%, Chile 7.6% (2007)

Imports: $59.9 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Imports - commodities: machinery, motor vehicles, petroleum and natural gas, organic chemicals, plastics

Imports - partners: Brazil 34.6%, US 12.6%, China 12%, Germany 5% (2007)

Debt - external: $135.5 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Economic aid - recipient:


Currency code:

Exchange rates: Argentine pesos (ARS) per US dollar - 3.1636 (2008 est.), 3.1105 (2007), 3.0543 (2006), 2.9037 (2005), 2.9233 (2004)

Fiscal year:

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