Argentina Economy - 2021


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Economic overview

Argentina benefits from rich natural resources, a highly literate population, an export-oriented agricultural sector, and a diversified industrial base. Although one of the world's wealthiest countries 100 years ago, Argentina suffered during most of the 20th century from recurring economic crises, persistent fiscal and current account deficits, high inflation, mounting external debt, and capital flight.

Cristina FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER succeeded her husband as president in late 2007, and in 2008 the rapid economic growth of previous years slowed sharply as government policies held back exports and the world economy fell into recession. In 2010 the economy rebounded strongly, but slowed in late 2011 even as the government continued to rely on expansionary fiscal and monetary policies, which kept inflation in the double digits.

In order to deal with these problems, the government expanded state intervention in the economy: it nationalized the oil company YPF from Spain's Repsol, expanded measures to restrict imports, and further tightened currency controls in an effort to bolster foreign reserves and stem capital flight. Between 2011 and 2013, Central Bank foreign reserves dropped $21.3 billion from a high of $52.7 billion. In July 2014, Argentina and China agreed on an $11 billion currency swap; the Argentine Central Bank has received the equivalent of $3.2 billion in Chinese yuan, which it counts as international reserves.

With the election of President Mauricio MACRI in November 2015, Argentina began a historic political and economic transformation, as his administration took steps to liberalize the Argentine economy, lifting capital controls, floating the peso, removing export controls on some commodities, cutting some energy subsidies, and reforming the country’s official statistics. Argentina negotiated debt payments with holdout bond creditors, continued working with the IMF to shore up its finances, and returned to international capital markets in April 2016.

In 2017, Argentina’s economy emerged from recession with GDP growth of nearly 3.0%. The government passed important pension, tax, and fiscal reforms. And after years of international isolation, Argentina took on several international leadership roles, including hosting the World Economic Forum on Latin America and the World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference, and is set to assume the presidency of the G-20 in 2018.

Real GDP growth rate

-2.03% (2019 est.)

-2.53% (2018 est.)

2.83% (2017 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

25.7% (2017 est.)

26.5% (2016 est.)

note: data are derived from private estimates

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: CCC (2020)

Moody's rating: Ca (2020)

Standard & Poors rating: CCC+ (2020)

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$991.523 billion (2019 est.)

$1,012,668,000,000 (2018 est.)

$1,039,330,000,000 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$447.467 billion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$22,064 (2019 est.)

$22,759 (2018 est.)

$23,597 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

Gross national saving

15.8% of GDP (2019 est.)

14.4% of GDP (2018 est.)

13.1% of GDP (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 10.8% (2017 est.)

industry: 28.1% (2017 est.)

services: 61.1% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 65.9% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 18.2% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 14.8% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 3.7% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 11.2% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -13.8% (2017 est.)

Ease of Doing Business Index scores

Overall score: 59 (2020)

Starting a Business score: 80.4 (2020)

Trading score: 67.1 (2020)

Enforcement score: 57.5 (2020)

Agricultural products

maize, soybeans, wheat, sugar cane, milk, barley, sunflower seed, beef, grapes, potatoes


food processing, motor vehicles, consumer durables, textiles, chemicals and petrochemicals, printing, metallurgy, steel

Industrial production growth rate

2.7% (2017 est.)

note: based on private sector estimates

Labor force

18 million (2017 est.)

note: urban areas only

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 5.3%

industry: 28.6%

services: 66.1% (2017 est.)

Unemployment rate

9.84% (2019 est.)

9.18% (2018 est.)

Population below poverty line

35.5% (2019 est.)

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

41.4 (2018 est.)

45.8 (2009)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 1.8%

highest 10%: 31% (2017 est.)


revenues: 120.6 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 158.6 billion (2017 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

18.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-6% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Public debt

57.6% of GDP (2017 est.)

55% of GDP (2016 est.)

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$3.997 billion (2019 est.)

-$27.049 billion (2018 est.)


$82.985 billion (2019 est.)

$76.14 billion (2018 est.)

$75.766 billion (2017 est.)

Exports - partners

Brazil 16%, China 11%, United States 7%, Chile 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

soybean products, corn, delivery trucks, wheat, frozen meat, gold (2019)


$72.162 billion (2019 est.)

$89.088 billion (2018 est.)

$93.308 billion (2017 est.)

Imports - partners

Brazil 21%, China 18%, US 14%, Germany 6% (2019)

Imports - commodities

cars, refined petroleum, vehicle parts, natural gas, soybeans (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$55.33 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$38.43 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

Debt - external

$278.524 billion (2019 est.)

$261.949 billion (2018 est.)

Exchange rates

Argentine pesos (ARS) per US dollar -

82.034 (2020 est.)

59.96559 (2019 est.)

37.23499 (2018 est.)

9.23 (2014 est.)

8.08 (2013 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding Argentina on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Argentina 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Argentina 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.