Argentina



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Argentina Economy 2008


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, however, reached double-digit levels in 2006 and the government of President Nestor KIRCHNER responded with "voluntary" price agreements with businesses, as well as export taxes and restraints. Multi-year price freezes on electricity and natural gas rates for residential users stoked consumption and kept private investment away, leading to restrictions on industrial use and blackouts in 2007.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $526.4 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $260 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 8.7% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $13,100 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 9.5% industry: 34% services: 56.5% (2007 est.)
Labor force: 16.03 million note: urban areas only (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 1% industry: 23% services: 76% (2007 est.)
Unemployment rate: 8.5% (2007 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 1% highest 10%: 35% (January-March 2007)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 49 (2006)
Investment (gross fixed): 24.2% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget: revenues: $48.99 billion expenditures: $61.23 billion (2007 est.)
Public debt: 56.1% of GDP (2007 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 8.8% official rate; actual rate may be double the official rate (2007 est.)
Central bank discount rate: NA
Commercial bank prime lending rate: 11.05% (31 December 2007)
Stock of money: $33.93 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of quasi money: $45.92 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of domestic credit: $72.55 billion (31 December 2007)
Agriculture - products: sunflower seeds, lemons, soybeans, grapes, corn, tobacco, peanuts, tea, wheat; livestock
Industries: food processing, motor vehicles, consumer durables, textiles, chemicals and petrochemicals, printing, metallurgy, steel
Industrial production growth rate: 7.5% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production: 109.4 billion kWh (2006 est.)
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: 525,100 bbl/day (2006 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.)
Current account balance: $7.438 billion (2007 est.)
Exports: $55.78 billion f.o.b. (2007 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: $42.53 billion f.o.b. (2007 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)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $46.12 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external: $135.8 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $65.31 billion (2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $26.26 billion (2007 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $79.73 billion (2006)
Currency (code): Argentine peso (ARS)
Exchange rates: Argentine pesos (ARS) per US dollar - 3.1105 (2007), 3.0543 (2006), 2.9037 (2005), 2.9233 (2004), 2.9006 (2003)

NOTE: The economy information regarding Argentina on this page is re-published from the 2008 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Argentina Economy 2008 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Argentina Economy 2008 should be addressed to the CIA.