To know Argentina’s economy is to know one of the world’s biggest dramas. The country is up and then it is down, with flashes of stability bridging the time between the last rise and next big tumble. And if there has been something consistent in economy stability and political leadership during the last half century, it is probably inconsistency. The economy is so fickle in this part of the world that economists are bona fide celebrities. They appear so regularly on television and in media that they are recognized on the street and photographed in restaurants. Some of the biggest names boast more social media followers than many of the most popular Argentine actors.
The country’s economic hiccups (crashes, usually) are always accompanied with pointed fingers at some administration in particular, as each seems to have its own very different approach to and belief about handling the economy.
Argentina is still a naturally rich country, with a bevy of investment opportunities. Perhaps critics are too tough on Argentina. Even when inflation was starting to creep up and people were harping on the country’s economic policies a handful of years ago, the economy was actually growing, in large part thanks to the country’s bountiful soy production and exports.
While it seems like most people have resigned themselves to the Argentine drama of default after default, they have in fact gotten smarter. People have taken their money elsewhere. But people still do not give up. Argentina is a place that bristles with opportunity. It’s, as mentioned, a very rich country naturally and also rich in talent and creativity. It is highly regarded and copied in many professional fields from medicine to media. Argentina is still working to get away from its emerging economy status— and it might still be that way for some time.
Argentina Economic Statistics
Real annual growth rate (2015): 1.2%
Per capita income (2015): US$22,600
Inflation rate (2015 est.): 27.6%
Natural resources: fertile plains of the pampas, lead, zinc, tin, copper, iron ore, manganese, petroleum, uranium, arable land
Primary sectors (60.4% of GDP): Services
Secondary sectors (29.1% of GDP): Industry
Tertiary sectors (10.5% of GDP): Agriculture
Exports: US$65.95 billion: soybeans and derivatives, petroleum and gas, vehicles, corn, wheat
Major trade markets (2015): Brazil (17%), China (8.6%), US (5.9%)
Imports: US$60.56 billion: machinery, motor vehicles, petroleum and natural gas, organic chemicals, plastics
Major suppliers: Brazil (22.1%), US (16.1%), China (15.4%), Germany (5.1%)
Labor force: 17,470,000