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.
On the international front, 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 in its capacity as a representative of Latin America in the G-20, jointly with Mexico and Brazil.
Argentina's economy is characterized by its 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 has grown 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 external sector has faced significant challenges. During 2014, fiscal accounts had a primary deficit of 0.9% of GDP and a total deficit of 2.5% of GDP. Public sector revenue rose 42.5% whereas spending increased 45% as compared with the previous year. Growth forecasts for 2015 range from 0% to 1%.
Last Updated: Apr 20, 2015