With a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of more than US$550 million, Argentina is one of the largest economies in Latin America. Argentina is currently undergoing an economic transformation that promotes sustainable economic development with social inclusion and integration into the global economy.
Argentina has vast natural resources in energy and agriculture. Within its 2.8 million square kilometers of territory, Argentina is endowed with extraordinary fertile lands and has great potential for renewable energy. It is a leading food producer with large-scale agricultural and livestock industries. In addition, Argentina has significant opportunities in some manufacturing subsectors, and innovative services in high tech industries.
The economy enjoyed significant growth over the past decade. Argentina invested heavily in health and education, areas which account for 7% and 6% of GDP, respectively.
Argentina was the top performer in the region in reducing poverty and boosting shared prosperity between 2004 and 2008. Incomes of the bottom 40% grew at an annualized rate of 11.8% compared to average income growth of 7.6%. This trend continued but slowed after 2008. As of 2014, 12.7% lived in poverty – defined as living on under US$4 a-day. After several years of no published statistics on poverty, the Government recently released measures using a different methodology –that define poverty as living on approximately under US$8 a day- that do not allow comparison but provide a baseline of 32%.
The country 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.
Presidential elections at the end of 2015 led to a significant change in Argentine economic policy. The new administration has moved with significant speed to implement core reforms such as the unification of the exchange rate, the agreement with international creditors, the modernization of the import regime, reduction of inflation and reform of national statistics system.
In addition, Argentina has taken a very active role on the international stage confirming that the country will hold the presidency of the G20 in 2018, expressing intention to join the OECD and become an observer in the Pacific Alliance.
After an economic growth of 2.4% in 2015, economic growth in the first quarter of 2016 slowed to 0.5% yoy, and the first official estimates for the first half of 2016 show an annual fall of 1.3%.
The primary deficit of 2015 was revised to 5% of GDP, compared to 3.6% in 2014. The accumulated primary deficit to July is 1.9% of GDP, similar to the same month last year. The government plans a gradual convergence to a primary fiscal balance by 2019.
Last Updated: Sep 22, 2016