Argentina Economy: from the All Country Info reference guide to country facts

Argentina Economy

Argentina Economy: A summary of information about Argentina Economy, from government research data as well as independent research and other sources.

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Argentina: Economy

Economy - overview
Argentina benefits from rich natural resources, a
highly literate population, an export-oriented agricultural sector,
and a diversified industrial base. However, when President Carlos
MENEM took office in 1989, the country had piled up huge external
debts, inflation had reached 200% per month, and output was
plummeting. To combat the economic crisis, the government embarked on
a path of trade liberalization, deregulation, and privatization. In
1991, it implemented radical monetary reforms which pegged the peso to
the US dollar and limited the growth in the monetary base by law to
the growth in reserves. Inflation fell sharply in subsequent years. In
1995, the Mexican peso crisis produced capital flight, the loss of
banking system deposits, and a severe, but short-lived, recession; a
series of reforms to bolster the domestic banking system followed.
Real GDP growth recovered strongly, reaching 8% in 1997. In 1998,
international financial turmoil caused by Russia's problems and
increasing investor anxiety over Brazil produced the highest domestic
interest rates in more than three years, halving the growth rate of
the economy. Conditions worsened in 1999 with GDP falling by 3%.
President Fernando DE LA RUA, who took office in December 1999,
sponsored tax increases and spending cuts to reduce the deficit, which
had ballooned to 2.5% of GDP in 1999. The new government also arranged
a new $7.4 billion stand-by facility with the IMF for contingency
purposes - almost three times the size of the previous arrangement.
Key challenges facing the new government include reforming the
country's rigid labor code and addressing the precarious financial
situation of several highly indebted provinces.
GDP
purchasing power parity - $367 billion (1999 est.)
GDP - real growth rate
-3% (1999 est.)
GDP - per capita
purchasing power parity - $10,000 (1999 est.)
GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 7%
industry: 29%
services: 64% (1999 est.)
Population below poverty line
36% (1998 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
-2% (1999 est.)
Labor force
15 million (1999)
Labor force - by occupation
agriculture NA%, industry NA%, services
NA%
Unemployment rate
14% (December 1999)
Budget
revenues: $44 billion
expenditures: $48 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA
billion (2000 est.)
Industries
food processing, motor vehicles, consumer durables,
textiles, chemicals and petrochemicals, printing, metallurgy, steel
Industrial production growth rate
-7% (1999 est.)
Electricity - production
75.237 billion kWh (1998)
Electricity - production by source
fossil fuel: 42.71%
hydro: 47.55%
nuclear: 9.47%
other: 0.27% (1998)
Electricity - consumption
75.57 billion kWh (1998)
Electricity - exports
250 million kWh (1998)
Electricity - imports
5.85 billion kWh (1998)
Agriculture - products
sunflower seeds, lemons, soybeans, grapes,
corn, tobacco, peanuts, tea, wheat; livestock
Exports
$23 billion (f.o.b., 1999 est.)
Exports - commodities
edible oils, fuels and energy, cereals, feed,
motor vehicles
Exports - partners
Brazil 24%, EU 21%, US 11% (1999 est.)
Imports
$25 billion (c.i.f., 1999 est.)
Imports - commodities
machinery and equipment, motor vehicles,
chemicals, metal manufactures, plastics
Imports - partners
EU 28%, US 22%, Brazil 21% (1999 est.)
Debt - external
$149 billion (1999 est.)
Economic aid - recipient
$2.833 billion (1995)
Currency
1 peso = 100 centavos
Exchange rates
peso is pegged to the US dollar at an exchange rate of
1 peso = $1
Fiscal year
calendar year
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