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's economy enjoys valuable natural resources. It is a leading food producer with large-scale agricultural and livestock industries. It is among the world’s largest beef and soybean exporters and is the leading producer of sunflower seeds, yerba mate, lemons and soybean oil. The opening of the Chinese market has helped boost the country’s export potential.
The country is pursuing an active foreign policy agenda and represents Latin America in the G-20, together with Mexico and Brazil.
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 $4 a-day. A third of the population lives on between 4 and 10 dollars a day and remains at risk of falling back into poverty.
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.
The government is currently restructuring its national statistics agency and has stopped publishing a number of key indicators. The latest data on economic activity dates back to the second quarter of 2015. According to those figures, economic activity picked up during the first half of 2015, mostly led by public consumption, and increased 2.1% and 2.3% (yoy) in the first and second quarter, respectively.
The primary deficit expanded to 5.4% of GDP in 2015, up from 3.8% in 2014. The Government has announced plans to reduce the primary deficit to 4.8% of GDP by the end of this year, 3.3% by 2017, 1.8% by 2018 and 0.3% by 2019.
Last Updated: Mar 28, 2016