With a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of more than US$ 540 billion, Argentina is one of the largest economies in Latin America. In recent years, the country has focused on economic development with social inclusion.
Argentina enjoys good relations with most of the countries in the region, particularly Brazil and Venezuela. The country also plays a leading role in regional policymaking as a representative of Latin America in the G-20, jointly with Mexico and Brazil.
Argentina's economy enjoys valuable natural resources. Thanks to its large-scale agricultural and livestock industry, the country is a major food producer. It is among the world’s largest beef exporters and the leading producer of sunflowers, yerba mate, lemons and soybean oil. The opening of the Chinese market has helped boost the country’s export potential.
The economy grew steadily during the past decade. Argentina has invested heavily in health and education, areas which account for 8% and 6% of GDP, respectively. Between 2003 and 2009, the middle class doubled in size, from 9.3 million to 18.6 million (equivalent to 45% of the population).
The country has prioritized social spending through various programs, including the Universal Child Allowance, which reaches approximately 3.7 million children and adolescents up to age 18, 9.3% of the population.
In recent months the country’s fiscal situation has deteriorated due to growing outside pressures, particularly the worsening economic situation in Brazil. During the first half of 2015, the primary deficit reached 1% of GDP and the fiscal deficit, which includes debt payments, doubled from a year ago to 2.3% of GDP. While public sector revenue rose 29% in nominal terms during the first half of the year compared to a year earlier, spending rose even more at 40%. Growth for 2015 is estimated at about 0.5%.
Last Updated: Sep 22, 2015