Economy overview: Argentina benefits from rich natural resources, a highly educated population, export-oriented agriculture, and a diverse industrial base. Nevertheless, by the time President Carlos ME-NEM took office in 1989, the country had accumulated a huge external debt, inflation was reaching 200% per month, and production was falling. To cope with the economic crisis, the government embarked on a path of trade liberalization, deregulation of the economy and privatization. In 1991, it carried out a radical monetary reform, pegging the peso to the US dollar and legally limiting the growth of the money supply to the growth of foreign exchange reserves. Inflation has dropped significantly in recent years. In 1995, the fall of the Mexican peso led to a flight of banking capital, a decrease in deposits in the banking system and a strong but a short decline. A series of reforms were carried out to maintain the domestic banking system. Real GDP growth resumed, reaching 8% in 1997. In 1998, the international financial panic caused by the crisis in Russia, as well as increased investor anxiety about the situation in Brazil, caused interest rates to rise to the highest level in three years, halving the economic growth. The situation worsened in 1999, when GDP fell by 3%. President Fernando DE LA ROY, who took office in December 1999, supports tax increases and government spending cuts to reduce the deficit, which reached 2.5% of GDP in 1999. Growth in 2000 was disappointing, at 0.8%, as domestic and foreign investors were skeptical of the government’s ability to repay debts and maintain a fixed exchange rate against the US dollar. The only favorable development in early 2001 was the IMF’s offer of $13.7 billion in support. See businesscarriers.com to know more about Argentina Economics and Business.
GDP: Purchasing Power Parity $476 billion (2000 est.)
Real GDP growth rate: 0.8% (2000 est.).
GDP per capita: PPP $12,900 (2000 est.)
The composition of GDP by sectors of the economy: agriculture: 6%; industry: 32%; services: 62% (2000 est.).
Proportion of the population below the poverty line: 37% (1999 est.).
Percentage distribution of household income or consumption: 10% of the poorest households account for: n/a; 10% of the wealthiest families account for: no data.
Inflation rate at consumer prices: -0.9% (2000 OTs.).
Labor force: 15 million people (1999).
Employment structure: no data.
Unemployment rate: 15% (December 2000).
Budget: revenues: $44 billion; expenditures: $48 billion, including capital expenditures – NA (2000 est.).
Spheres of economy: food industry, automotive industry, production of consumer durables, textile industry, chemical and petrochemical industry, printing industry, metallurgy, including steel production.
Growth in industrial production: 1% (2000 OC).
Electricity generation: 77.087 billion kWh (1999)
Sources of electricity generation: fossil fuels: 60.3%; hydropower: 30.7%; nuclear fuel: 8.75%; others: 0.25% (1999).
Electricity consumption: 77.111 billion kWh (1999)
Export of electricity: 1.08 billion kWh (1999).
Electricity import: 6.5 billion kWh (1999).
Agricultural products: sunflower, lemons, soybeans, grapes, corn, tobacco, peanuts, tea, wheat; livestock.
Exports: $26.5 billion (free on board, 2000 est.)
Exports: edible oils, fuels and electricity, cereals, feed, automobiles.
Export partners: Brazil 24%, EU 21%, US 11% (1999 est.).
Imports: $25.2 billion (free on board, 2000 est.)
Imports: machinery and equipment, automobiles, chemicals, hardware, plastics.
Import partners: EU 28%, US 22%, Brazil 21% (1999 est.).
External debt: $154 billion (2000 est.); note: in order to ensure payments on the external debt, the government of President DE LA ROY tried to reduce public spending, in particular, to cut wages in the public sector by 20%; in addition, a restriction was introduced on the withdrawal of funds from bank accounts; these measures sparked riots that led to the resignation of the government and the president on December 22, 2001; external debt payments were suspended. Economic Assistance Recipient: IMF offered $13.7 billion (January 2001).
Economic aid donor:
Currency: Argentine peso.
Currency code: ARS.
Exchange rate: The peso is pegged to the US dollar at a ratio of 1 peso = $1.
Fiscal year: calendar year.
Telecommunications Telephone lines: 7.5 million (1998).
Mobile cell phones: 3 million (December 1999).
Phone system: by opening the telecommunications market to competition and foreign investment, under the 1999 telecommunications liberalization plan, Argentina stimulated the growth of modern technology; fiber optic cable lines are being built between all major cities; the main networks are all digital and the availability of telephone services is growing; nevertheless, the density of telephone communication is currently low, and widespread telephone installation; domestic: microwave radio relay, fiber optic cables and a national satellite system with 40 earth stations, over 110,000 payphones installed and mobile telephone systems expanding rapidly; international: satellite ground stations – 8 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); two international exchanges near Buenos Aires; submarine cable Atlantis-P (1999).
Broadcast stations: AM -260 (including 10 inactive stations), FM – no data (maybe more than 1,000, mostly without licenses), shortwave -6 (1998).
Radio receivers: 24.3 mpn (1997).
Television broadcast stations: 42 (and 444 repeaters) (1997).
Televisions: 7.95 million (1997)
Internet country code: ar
Internet service providers: 33 (2000).
Number of users: 900,000 (2000).
Transport Railways: total: 33,744 km (167 km electrified); broad gauge: 20,594 km (1.676 m gauge) (141 km electrified); standard gauge: 2,739 km (1.435 m gauge) (26 km electrified); narrow gauge: 10,154 km (1,000 m gauge); 257 km (0.75 m gauge) (2000).
Roads: total: 215,434 km; paved: 63,553 km (including 734 km of expressways); unpaved: 151,881 km (1998 est.)
Waterways: 10,950 km.
Pipelines: for crude oil -4,090 km; for oil products -2,900 km; for natural gas -9 918 km.
Ports and harbors: Bahia Blanca, Buenos Aires, Comodoro Rivadavia, Concepción depe Uruguay, La Plata, Mar depe Plata, Necochea, Rio Galle Gas, Rosario, Santa Fe, Ushuaia.
Merchant navy: total: 26 vessels (displacement 1,000 tons or more) with a total displacement of 185,355 gross register tons / 281,475 long tons of gross tonnage; ships of various types: cargo ships – 9, oil tankers – 11, ships for the transport of railway cars – 1, refrigerated ships – 2, ferries for the transport of loaded vehicles – 1, coastal passenger ships – 2 (2000 est.).
Airports: 1,359 (2000 est.).
Airports with paved runways: total: 143; over 3,047 m: 4; from 2438 to 3047 m: 25; from 1,524 to 2,437 m: 57; from 914 to 1523 m: 48; less than 914 m: 9 (2000 est.).
Airports with unpaved runways: total: 1216; over 3047 m: 2; from 2438 to 3047 m: 2; from 1,524 to 2,437 m: 56; from 914 to 1523 m: 601; less than 914 m: 555 (2000 est.).
Branches of the Armed Forces: Argentine Army, Navy of the Argentine Republic (includes naval aviation, marines and coast guard), Argentine Air Force, National Gendarmerie, National Air Police Force.
Enlistment age: 20 years old.
Total Military Manpower: Male 15 to 49: 9,404,434 (2001 est.).
Eligible for military service: men aged 15 to 49: 7,625,425 (2001 est.).
Number of persons reaching military age each year: male: 335,085 (2001 est.).
Military spending in dollar terms: $4.3 billion (1999)
Military spending as part of GDP: 1.3% (1999).
International issues International disputes: dispute with Great Britain over the Falkland (Malvinas) Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; territorial claims in Antarctica.
Illicit Drugs: Used as a staging post for cocaine destined for Europe and the US; increasingly the country is being used for money laundering; domestic drug use in large cities is on the rise.