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Argentina: Economy

Economy Argentina
Economy - overview:
Argentina benefits from rich natural resources, a highly literate population, an export-oriented agricultural sector, and a diversified industrial base. Over the past decade, however, the country has suffered recurring economic problems of inflation, external debt, capital flight, and budget deficits. Growth in 2000 was a negative 0.8%, as both domestic and foreign investors remained skeptical of the government's ability to pay debts and maintain the peso's fixed exchange rate with the US dollar. The economic situation worsened in 2001 with the widening of spreads on Argentine bonds, massive withdrawals from the banks, and a further decline in consumer and investor confidence. Government efforts to achieve a "zero deficit," to stabilize the banking system, and to restore economic growth proved inadequate in the face of the mounting economic problems. The peso's peg to the dollar was abandoned in January 2002, and the peso was floated in February; the exchange rate plunged and inflation picked up rapidly, but by mid-2002 the economy had stabilized, albeit at a lower level. Strong demand for the peso compelled the Central Bank to intervene in foreign exchange markets to curb its appreciation in early 2003. Led by record exports, the economy began to recover with output up 5.5% in 2003, unemployment falling, and inflation sliced to 4.2% at year-end.
GDP:
purchasing power parity - $403.8 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
-10.9% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $10,500 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 5%
industry: 28%
services: 66% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line:
37% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
41% (2002, yearend)
Labor force:
15 million (1999)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture NA%, industry NA%, services NA%
Unemployment rate:
21.5% (37377)
Budget:
revenues: $44 billion
expenditures: $48 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)
Industries:
food processing, motor vehicles, consumer durables, textiles, chemicals and petrochemicals, printing, metallurgy, steel
Industrial production growth rate:
1% (2000 est.)
Electricity - production:
97.17 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 52.2%
hydro: 40.8%
other: 0.2% (2001)
nuclear: 6.7%
Electricity - consumption:
92.12 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
5.662 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
7.417 billion kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
828,600 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
486,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA (2001)
Oil - proved reserves:
2.927 billion bbl (37257)
Natural gas - production:
37.15 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
31.1 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
6.05 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
768 billion cu m (37257)
Agriculture - products:
sunflower seeds, lemons, soybeans, grapes, corn, tobacco, peanuts, tea, wheat; livestock
Exports:
$25.3 billion f.o.b. (2002)
Exports - commodities:
edible oils, fuels and energy, cereals, feed, motor vehicles
Exports - partners:
Brazil 23.6%, US 10.9%, Chile 9.7%, Spain 4.3% (2002)
Imports:
$9 billion f.o.b. (2002)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, motor vehicles, chemicals, metal manufactures, plastics
Imports - partners:
Brazil 42%, US 12.8%, Germany 4.4% (2002)
Debt - external:
$155 billion (2001 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$10 billion (2001 est.)
Currency:
Argentine peso (ARS)
Currency code:
ARS
Exchange rates:
Argentine pesos per US dollar - 3.06 (2002), 1 (2001), 1 (2000), 1 (1999), 1 (1998)
Fiscal year:
calendar year

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Source: The CIA World Fact Book 2003

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