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Growing government spending, large wage raises, and inefficient production created a chronic inflation that rose through the 1980s, when it briefly exceeded an annual rate of 1,000%.[7] Successive regimes tried to control inflation through wage and price controls, HP Pavilion dv6365us CPU Fan

cuts in public spending, and restriction of the money supply.[7] Efforts to stem the problems came to naught when in 1982 Argentina came into conflict with the United Kingdom over the Falkland Islands.

In August 1982, after Mexico had announced its inability to service its debt, Argentina approached the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for financial assistance, as it too was in serious difficulties.HP 535439-001 CPU Fan

While developments looked positive for a while, an IMF staff team visiting Buenos Aires in August 1983 discovered a variety of problems, particularly a loss of control over wages affecting both the budget and external competitiveness, and the programme failed.[107] With the peso quickly losing value to inflation, a new peso was introduced in 1983, with 10,000 old pesos exchanged for each new peso.[7] COMPAQ 6910c CPU Fan

In December 1983 Raúl Alfonsin was elected President of Argentina, bringing to an end to the military dictatorship.[107] Under Alfonsin, negotiations started on a new programme with the IMF, but they led to nothing.[107] In March 1984, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela lent Argentina $300 million for three months, followed by a similar amount by the United States, IBM Lenovo IdeaPad G510 CPU Fan

providing some breathing space as it was not before late September 1984 that an agreement was reached between the IMF and Argentina.

In 1985 the currency was redenominated again, with the Austral substituting the discredited peso.[107] HP G62-110SO CPU Fan

In 1986, Argentina failed to pay the debt for several months until ultimately the debt was renegotiated with the creditor banks.[111] During 1986 and 1987 the Austral Plan faded away, as fiscal policy was undermined by large off-budget spending and a loose monetary policy, again falling out of compliance with an IMF programme.[107] DELL Precision M6400 CPU Fan

A new IMF arrangement was reached in July 1987, only to collapse in March 1988.[107]

The next move by the authorities was to launch the Plan Primavera in August 1988, consisting of a package of economically heterodox measures that foresaw little fiscal adjustment, and this time the IMF, in the absence of firm policies, refused to resume lending to Argentina.[107] SONY Vaio VPC-EB290X CPU Fan

Six months after its introduction the Plan Primavera collapsed, leading to hyperinflation,[107] and riots.

The Peronist Carlos Menem was elected president in May 1989.[107] He immediately announced a new shock programme, this time with more fiscal adjustment in view of a government deficit of 16% of GDP.[107] HP Envy 17-1090eo CPU Fan

In November 1989 agreement was reached on yet another standby with the IMF, but again the arrangement was ended prematurely, followed by another bout of hyper-inflation, which reached 12,000% per year.[107]

After the collapse of public enterprises during the late 1980s, privatisation became strongly popular.[112] Toshiba Satellite A210-1CF CPU Fan

Menem privatised almost everything the state owned, except for a couple of banks.[80] In terms of service there were indisputable improvements. For example, before the telephone privatisation, to get a new line it was not unusual to wait more than ten years, and apartments with telephone lines carried a big premium in the market. Dell Vostro 3450 CPU Fan

After privatisation the wait was reduced to less than a week.[112] Productivity increased as investment modernised farms, factories and ports.[80] However, in all cases, there were large outlays of employees.[112] In addition, the process of privatisation was suspected of corruption in many cases.[112] Toshiba Satellite A10-103 CPU Fan

Ultimately, the privatised enterprises became private (rather than public) monopolies.[80] Their tariffs on long-term contracts were raised in line with American inflation, even though prices in Argentina were falling.[80]

In 1991, economy minister Domingo Cavallo set out to reverse Argentina's decline through free-market reforms such as open trade.[80] Compaq Presario A900 CTO CPU Fan

On 1 January 1992, a monetary reform replaced the austral with the peso at a rate of 10,000 australs for 1 peso.[113] The cornerstone of the reform process was a currency board, under which the peso was fixed by law at par to the dollar, and the money supply restricted to the level of hard-currencyreserves.[80] ACER Aspire 4736ZG CPU Fan

After a lag, inflation was tamed. With risk of devaluation apparently removed, capital poured in from abroad.[80] GDP growth increased significantly and total employment rose steadily until mid-1993.[79] During the second half of 1994, the economy slowed down and unemployment increased from 10% to 12.2%.[79] Toshiba Satellite A10-103 CPU Fan

Although the economy was already in a mild recession at this point, conditions worsened substantially after the devaluation of the Mexican peso during December 1994.[79] The economy shrank by 4%, and a dozen banks collapsed.[80] With the labour force continuing to expand and employment falling sharply along with aggregate demand, unemployment rose by over 6% in 6 months.[79] SONY MCF-519PAM05 CPU Fan

But the government responded effectively: it tightened bank regulation and capital requirements, and encouraged foreign banks to take over weaker local ones.[80] The economy soon recovered and, between 1996 and 1998, both output and employment grew rapidly and unemployment declined substantially.[79] SONY Vaio VPC-EB290X CPU Fan

However, at the beginning of 1999, the Brazilian currency underwent a strong depreciation. The Argentine economy contracted 4% in 1999, and unemployment increased again.[79]

Exports grew from $12 billion in 1991 to $27 billion in 2001, but many industries could not compete abroad, especially after Brazil's devaluation.[80] HP Pavilion dv7-2043cl CPU Fan

The strong, fixed exchange rate turned the trade balance to a cumulative US$22 billion in deficits between 1992 and 1999.[114] Unable to devalue, Argentina could only become more competitive if prices fell.[80] Deflation came from recession, falling wages and rising unemployment.[80] Interest rates remained high, with banks lending dollars at 25%.[80] HP Pavilion dv7-2130ev CPU Fan

The share of public spending in GDP increased from 27% in 1995 to 30% in 2000.[80] Some poorer provinces had depended on state enterprises or on inefficient industries, such as sugar, which could not compete when trade was opened.[80] To quell social unrest, provincial governors padded their payrolls.[80] HP 608772-001 CPU Fan

The government had embarked on a pension reform with costs reaching 3% of GDP in 2000, as it still had to pay pensioners but no longer received contributions.

Argentina fell into a deep recession in the second half of 1998, triggered and then compounded by a series of adverse external shocks, which included low prices for agricultural commodities,[115] Toshiba Satellite A100-194 CPU Fan

the appreciation of the US dollar, to which the peso was pegged at par,[115] the 1998 Russian financial crisis, the LTCM crisis and the devaluation of the Brazilian real in January 1999.[116] Argentina did not enjoy a rapid recovery, and the sluggishness of GDP growth fuelled concerns about the sustainability of public debt.[116] HP Pavilion tx1205/ CT CPU Fan

In December 1999 Fernando de la Rúa was inaugurated President, seeking assistance from the IMF shortly thereafter.[117] In March 2000, the IMF agreed to a three-year $7.2 billion stand-by arrangement with Argentina, conditioned on a strict fiscal adjustment and the assumption of 3.5% GDP growth in 2000 (actual growth was 0.5%).[117] HP Pavilion dv6640ep CPU Fan

In late 2000, Argentina began to experience severely diminished access to capital markets, as reflected in a sharp and sustained rise in spreads on Argentine bonds over U.S. Treasuries.[116] In December, The de la Rua government announced a $40 billion multilateral assistance package organized by IMF.[117] COMPAQ Presario CQ42-401TU CPU Fan

The uneven implementation of fiscal adjustments and reforms, a worsening global macroeconomic environment, and political instability led to the complete loss of market access and intensified capital flight by the second quarter of 2001.[116] Argentine debt, held mostly in bonds, was massively sold short and the government found itself unable to borrow or meet debt payments.[118] Toshiba Satellite A300D CPU Fan

In December 2001, a series of deposit runs began to have a severe impact on the health of the banking system, leading the Argentine authorities to impose a partial deposit freeze.[116] With Argentina no longer in compliance with the conditions of the expanded IMF-supported program, the IMF decided to suspend disbursements.[116] HP Pavilion dv8397ea CPU  Fan

At the end of December, in a climate of severe political and social unrest, the country partially defaulted on its international obligations; in January 2002, it formally abandoned the convertibility regime.[116]

The ensuing economic and political crisis was arguably the worst since the country's independence.[70HP Pavilion dv9821ea CPU Fan

] By the end of 2002, the economy had contracted by 20% since 1998.[116] Over the course of two years, output fell by more than 15%, the Argentine peso lost three-quarters of its value, and registered unemployment exceeded 25%.[70] Income poverty in Argentina grew from an already high 35.4% in October 2001 to a peak of 54.3% in October 2002.[119] HP COMPAQ TC4200 CPU Fan

Critics of the policy of economic liberalization pursued during the Menem Presidency argued that Argentina's economic woes were caused by neoliberalism, which had been actively promoted by the U.S. government and the IMF under the Washington Consensus.[70] Others have stressed that the main shortcoming of economic policy-making during the 1990s was that economic reform was not pursued with enough determination.[70SONY Vaio VGN-NW228F CPU Fan

] A 2004 report by the IMF's Independent Evaluation Officecriticised the IMF's conduct prior to Argentina's economic collapse of 2001, saying the IMF had supported the country's fixed exchange rate for too long, and was too lenient towards fiscal deficits.

In January 2002 Eduardo Duhalde was appointed president, becoming Argentina's fifth president in two weeks.[123] HP G62-b16ST CPU Fan

Roberto Lavagna, who became Minister of the Economy in April 2002, was credited for the ensuing recovery of the economy, having stabilised prices and the exchange rate in a moment when Argentina was at risk of hyperinflation.[124] Since the default in 2001, growth has resumed, with the Argentine economy growing by over 6% a year for seven of the eight years to 2011.[125] HP 580696-001 CPU Fan

This was achieved in part because of a commodity price boom, and also because the government managed to keep the value of the currency low, boosting industrial exports.

Néstor Kirchner became president in May 2003. In the mid-2000s, export of unprocessed soybeans and of soybean oil and mealgenerated more than 20% of Argentina's export revenue, triple the joint share of the traditional exports, beef and wheat.[122HP Pavilion dv6-3049tx CPU Fan

] Export taxes comprised 8% to 11% of the Kirchner government's total tax receipts, around two-thirds of which came from soy exports.[126] Taxes on imports and exports increased government spending from 14% to 25% of GDP.[125] However, the import and export taxes have discouraged foreign investment, while high spending has pushed inflation over 20%.[125] HP G42-380LA CPU Fan

An attempt by the Kirchner administration to impose price controls in 2005 failed as the items most in demand went out of stock and the mandatory prices were in most cases not observed.[127] Various sectors of the economy were re-nationalised, including the national postal service (2003), the San Martín Railway line(2004), Toshiba Qosmio G30-167 CPU Fan

the water utility serving the Province of Buenos Aires (2006)[128] and Aerolíneas Argentinas (2009).[129]

In December 2005, Kirchner decided to liquidate the Argentine debt to the IMF in a single payment, without refinancing, for a total of $9.8 billion.[130] The payment was partly financed by Venezuela, who bought Argentine bonds for US$1.6 billion.[130]HP Pavilion dv7-1157cl CPU Fan

As of mid-2008 Venezuela hold an estimated US$6 billion in Argentine debt.[131] In 2006, Argentina re-entered international debt markets selling US$500 million of its Bonar V five-year dollar denominated bonds, with a yield of 8.36%, mostly to foreign banks and Moody's boosted Argentina's debt rating to B from B-.In early 2007 the administration began interfering with inflation estimates. Compaq Presario CQ40-408AX CPU Fan

In December 2007 Fernández de Kirchner became president. In 2008 the rural sector mobilized against a resolution that would have increased the export tax rate on soybean exports from 35% to 44.1%.[135] Ultimately, after the narrow defeat in the Senate of the bill, the president abandoned the new taxation regime.[135] HP Mini 110-1110ET CPU Fan

Official Argentine statistics are believed to have significantly underreported inflation since 2007, and independent economists publishing their own estimates of Argentine inflation have been threatened with fines and prosecution.[136]

In October 2008 President Fernández de Kirchner nationalised private pension funds for almost $30 billion, HP Pavilion dv7-1157cl CPU Fan

ostensibly to protect the pensions from falling stock prices around the world, although critics said the government simply wanted to add the money to its budget.[137] The plan left contributors the freedom to invest in private pension funds, which the central bank would purchase a minority stake in.[138] HP Pavilion dv6-3163eo CPU Fan

Private pension funds, which were first licensed in 1994, suffered large losses during the 1998–2002 crisis and by 2008, the state subsidized 77% of the funds' beneficiaries.[138] The plan's congressional passage a month later was accompanied by a package of incentives designed to make credit more accessible and to stimulate slowing domestic growth, HP Pavilion dv9740us CPU Fan

as well as expanded export and loan subsidies and a US$32 billion public works program for 2009–2010 (a record).The late-2000s recession hit the country in 2009 with GDP growth slowing to 0.8%.[140] In the year to July 2009 private sector demand fell by around 4%.[141] High GDP growth resumed in 2010, and the economy expanded by 8.5%.[142] HP COMPAQ NX9420 CPU Fan

In April 2010, Economy Minister Amado Boudouprepared a debt swap package for the holders of over US$18 billion in bonds who did not participate in the 2005 Argentine debt restructuring.Theseholdouts indirectly reduced Argentine access to international credit markets.[ HP Pavilion dv7-4150ec CPU Fan

In late 2010, the largest new natural gas deposits in 35 years were discovered in Neuquén Province.[146] The unemployment rate in the third quarter of 2011 was 7.3%.[147]

In November 2011, the government laid a plan to cut utilities subsidies to higher income households.[148] HP Pavilion dv5-1102tu CPU Fan

By mid-2011, credit was outpacing GDP by a wide margin, raising concerns that the economy was overheating.[149] Argentina began a period of fiscal austerity in 2012.[150][151] In April 2012, the government announced plans to expropriate YPF, despite the opposition of energy experts. SONY VGN-SZ220 CPU Fan

The unique condition of Argentina, as a country which had achieved advanced development in the early 20th century but experienced a reversal, has inspired a wealth of literature and analyses on the causes of this progressive decline.[1]

According to Di Tella and Zymelman (1967), HP Pavilion dv7-6011tx CPU Fan

the main difference between Argentina and other settler societies such as Australia and Canada was its failure to seek adequate alternatives to compensate for the end of geographical expansion with the definitive closing of the frontier.[153] Solberg (1985) noted the differences between the land distribution in Canada, HP Pavilion dv5-1040eb CPU Fan

which led to a rising number of small farmers, and the small number of landowners each with large areas of land in Argentina.[153]

Duncan and Fogarty (1984) argued that the key difference lies in the contrast between the stable, flexible government of Australia and the poor governance of Argentina.[153] ASUS F3Jv CPU Fan

According to Platt and Di Tella (1985) the political tradition and immigration from different regions were the key factors, while Díaz Alejandro (1985) suggested that a restrictive immigration policy, similar to Australia’s, would have increased productivity encouraged by the relative scarcity of labour.[153] IBM ThinkPad R50p 2887 CPU Fan

More recently, Taylor (1992) pointed that the relatively high dependency ratio and the slow demographic transition in Argentina led to a reliance on foreign capital to offset the resulting low savings rate.[153] From the 1930s onwards, the accumulation of capital was hampered by the relatively high prices of (mostly imported) capital goods, SONY VGN-CS36GJ/R CPU Fan

which was caused by the industrial policy of import substitution, in contrast with the export-led growth favoured by Canada.[153] Other distorting factors behind the high relative prices of capital goods include the multiple exchange rates, the black market for foreign currencies, the depreciation of the national currency and high customs tariffs.[153] This resulted in a lower capital intensity, which led to lower rates of labour productivity.[153] Toshiba Satellite A215-S4807 CPU Fan

Toshiba Satellite Pro M10-SP405 CPU Fan

The ultimate cause of Argentina’s historical backwardness appears to be its institutional framework.[153] In macroeconomic terms, Argentina was one of the most stable and conservative countries until the Great Depression, after which it turned into one of the most unstable.

Argentina is one of the world's major agricultural producers, ranking among the top producers and, HP Pavilion dv4-1120us CPU Fan

in most of the following, exporters of beef, citrus fruit, grapes, honey, maize, sorghum, soybeans, squash, sunflower seeds, wheat, and yerba mate.[44] Agriculture accounted for 9% of GDP in 2010, and around one fifth of all exports (not including processed food and feed, which are another third). Compaq Presario C550EM CPU Fan

Commercial harvests reached 103 million tons in 2010, of which over 54 million were oilseeds (mainly soy and sunflower), and over 46 million were cereals (mainly maize, wheat, and sorghum).[45] Soy and its byproducts, mainly animal feed and vegetable oils, are major exportcommodities with one fourth of the total; Toshiba Qosmio E15-AV101 CPU Fan

cereals added another 10%. Cattle-raising is also a major industry, though mostly for domestic consumption; beef, leather and dairy were 5% of total exports.[9] Sheep-raising andwool are important in Patagonia, though these activities have declined by half since 1990.[3] Biodiesel, however, has become one of the fastest growing agro-industrial activities, with over US$2 billion in exports in 2011.[9] Toshiba Satellite L645D-S4056 CPU Fan

Fruits and vegetables made up 4% of exports: apples and pears in the Río Negro valley; rice, oranges and othercitrus in the northwest and Mesopotamia; grapes and strawberries in Cuyo (the west), and berries in the far south. Cotton and tobacco are major crops in the Gran Chaco, sugarcane and chile peppers in the northwest, and olives and garlic in the west. Toshiba Satellite A305-S6837 CPU Fan

Yerba mate tea (Misiones), tomatoes (Salta) and peaches (Mendoza) are grown for domestic consumption. Organic farming is growing in Argentina, and the nearly 3 million hectares (7.5 million acres) of organic cultivation is second only to Australia.[46] Argentina is the world's fifth-largest wine producer, and fine wine production has taken major leaps in quality. HP Pavilion dv7-4087cl CPU Fan

A growing export, total viticulture potential is far from having been met. Mendoza is the largest wine region, followed by San Juan.[47]

Government policy towards the lucrative agrarian sector is a subject of, at times, contentious debate in Argentina. HP Pavilion dv5-1118es CPU Fan

A grain embargo by farmers protesting an increase in export taxes for their products began in March 2008,[48] and, following a series of failed negotiations, strikes and lockouts largely subsided only with the July 16, defeat of the export tax-hike in the Senate.[49]

Argentine fisheries bring in about a million tons of catch annually,[3] and are centered around Argentine hake, which makes up 50% of the catch; Toshiba Satellite A665-S6050 CPU Fan

pollock, squid, and centolla crab are also widely harvested. Forestry has long history in every Argentine region, apart from the pampas, accounting for almost 14 million m³ of roundwoodharvests.[50] Eucalyptus, pine, and elm (for cellulose) are also grown, mainly for domestic furniture, as well as paper products (1.5 million tons). Fisheries and logging each account for 2% of exports. HP Pavilion G72-259WM CPU Fan

Mining is a growing industry, increasing from 2% of GDP in 1980 to nearly 4% today. The northwest and San Juan Province are the main regions of activity. Coal is mined in Santa Cruz Province. Metals and minerals mined includeborate, copper, lead, magnesium, sulfur, tungsten, uranium, zinc, silver, and gold, whose production was boosted after 1997 by the HP Pavilion dv6-3109ca  CPU  Fan

Bajo de Alumbrera mine in Catamarca Province and Barrick Gold investments a decade later in San Juan. Metal ore exports soared from US$ 200 million in 1996 to US$ 1.2 billion in 2004,[51] and to over US$ 3 billion in 2010.[9]

Around 35 million m³ each of petroleum and petroleum fuels are produced, as well as 50 billion m³ of natural gas, making the nation self-sufficient in these staples, HP Pavilion dv6782eg CPU Fan

and generating around 10% of exports. The most important oil fields lie in Patagoniaand Cuyo. A network of pipelines (next to Mexico's, the second-longest in Latin America) send raw product to Bahía Blanca, center of the petrochemical industry, and to the La Plata-Buenos Aires-Rosario industrial belt. SONY UDQF2PH52CF0 CPU Fan

Manufacturing is the largest single sector in the nation's economy (19% of GDP), and is well-integrated into Argentine agriculture, with half the nation's industrial exports being agricultural in nature.[3] Based on food processing and textiles during its early development in the first half of the 20th century, industrial production has become highly diversified in Argentina.[52] Toshiba UDQFRPH33CCM CPU Fan

Leading sectors by production value are: Food processing and beverages; motor vehicles and auto parts;refinery products, and biodiesel; chemicals and pharmaceuticals; steel and aluminum; and industrial and farm machinery;electronics and home appliances. These latter include over three million big ticket items, Toshiba Satellite A505-S6980 CPU Fan

as well as an array of electronics, kitchen appliances and cellular phones, among others.[2] The country's auto industry produced 829,000 motor vehicles in 2011, and exported 507,000 (mainly to Brazil, which in turn exported a somewhat larger number to Argentina).[53]Beverages are another significant sector, HP Pavilion dv7-2025es CPU Fan

and Argentina has long been among the top five wine producing countries in the world; beer overtook wine production in 2000, and today leads by nearly two billion liters a year to one.[2]

Other manufactured goods include: glass and cement; plastics and tires; lumber products; textiles; tobacco products;recording and print media; furniture; apparel and leather.[2] TOSHIBA Satellite L300 CPU Fan

Most manufacturing is organized in the 314 industrial parksoperating nationwide as of 2012, a fourfold increase over the past decade.[54] Nearly half the industries are based in theGreater Buenos Aires area, although Córdoba, Rosario, and Ushuaia are also significant industrial centers; the latter city became the nation's leading center ofelectronics production during the 1980s.[55] HP G62-a10EJ CPU Fan

The production of computers, laptops, and servers grew by 160% in 2011, to nearly 3.4 million units, and covered two-thirds of local demand.[56] Another important rubric historically dominated by imports - farm machinery - will likewise mainly be manufactured domestically by 2014.[57]

Construction permits nationwide covered nearly 19 million m² (205 million ft²) in 2008. Dell MF60100V1-Q000-G99 CPU Fan

The construction sector accounts for over 5% of GDP, and two-thirds of the construction was for residential buildings.[3]

Argentine electric output totaled over 122 billion Kwh in 2009.[58] This was generated in large part through well developed natural gas and hydroelectricresources. DELL R859C CPU Fan

Nuclear energy is also of high importance,[59] and the country is one of the largest producers and exporters, alongside Canada and Russia of cobalt-60, a radioactive isotope widely used in cancer therapy.

The service sector is the largest contributor to total GDP, accounting for over 60%. Argentina enjoys a diversified service sector,Toshiba Satellite A105-S2101 CPU Fan

which includes well-developed social, corporate, financial, insurance, real estate, transport, communication services, and tourism.

The telecommunications sector has been growing at a fast pace, and the economy benefits from widespread access to communications services. These include: mobile telephony, with 77% of the population having access to mobile phones;[60]SONY Vaio VGN-FW140E CPU Fan

Internet (over 27 million users, or two thirds of the population);[61] and broadbandservices (accounting for nearly all the 10 million accounts).[62] Regular telephone services, with 9.5 million lines,[63] and mail services are robust.

Trade in services remained in deficit, however, with US$15 billion in service exports in 2012 and US$19 billion in imports.[12ACER Aspire 5730Z CPU Fan

] Business Process Outsourcingbecame the leading Argentine service export, and reached US$3 billion.[64] Advertising revenues from contracts abroad were estimated at over US$1.2 billion.[65]

Tourism is an increasingly important sector and provided 4% of direct economic output (over US$17 billion) in 2012; around 70% of tourism sector activity by value is domestic. SONY Vaio VPC-EB4S1E/WI CPU Fan

Argentine banking, whose deposits exceeded US$120 billion in December 2012,[67] developed around public sector banks, but is now dominated by the private sector. The private sector banks account for most of the 80 active institutions (over 4,000 branches) and holds nearly 60% of deposits and loans, and as many foreign-owned banks as local ones operate in the country.[68]HP Pavilion dv9580ed CPU Fan

The largest bank in Argentina by far, however, has long been the public Banco de la Nación Argentina. Not to be confused with the Central Bank, this institution now accounts for 30% of total deposits and a fifth of its loan portfolio.

During the 1990s, Argentina's financial system was consolidated and strengthened. Toshiba Satellite L305D-S5934 CPU Fan

Deposits grew from less than US$15 billion in 1991 to over US$80 billion in 2000, while outstanding credit (70% of it to the private sector) tripled to nearly US$100 billion.[69]

The banks largely lent US dollars and took deposits in Argentine pesos, and when the peso lost most of its value in early 2002, many borrowers again found themselves hard pressed to keep up. SONY Vaio VGN-CR31S/P CPU Fan

Delinquencies tripled to about 37%.[69] Over a fifth of deposits had been withdrawn by December 2001, when Economy Minister Domingo Cavallo imposed a near freeze on cash withdrawals. The lifting of the restriction a year later was bittersweet, being greeted calmly, if with some umbrage, at not having these funds freed at their full U.S. dollar value.[70HP Pavilion dv5-1210et CPU Fan

] Some fared worse, as owners of the now-defunct Velox Bank defrauded their clients of up to US$800 million.[71]

Credit in Argentina is still relatively tight. Lending has been increasing 40% a year since 2004, and delinquencies are down to less than 2%.[67] Still, credit outstanding to the private sector is, in real terms, SONY Vaio VGN-FW465J/B CPU Fan

slightly below its 1998 peak, and as a percent of GDP (around 18%),[67] quite low by international standards. The prime rate, which had hovered around 10% in the 1990s, hit 67% in 2002. Although it returned to normal levels quickly, inflation, and more recently, global instability, have been affecting it again. HP Envy 15 CPU Fan

The prime rate was over 20% for much of 2009, and around 17% since the first half of 2010.[67]

Partly a function of this and past instability, Argentines have historically held more deposits overseas than domestically. The estimated US$173 billion in overseas accounts and investment exceeded the domestic monetary base (M3) by nearly US$10 billion in 2012. HP Pavilion dv7-1190er CPU Fan

The World Economic Forum estimated that, in 2012, tourism generated around US$17 billion in direct economic turnover, another US$30 billion in indirect turnover; the industry employed 650,000 directly and 1.1 million more indirectly.[66] Tourism from abroad contributed US$ 5.3 billion, having become the third largest source of foreign exchange in 2004.Toshiba Satellite A105-S4074 CPU Fan

Around 5.7 million foreign visitors arrived in 2012, reflecting a doubling in visitors since 2002 despite a relative appreciation of the peso.[66]

Argentines, who have long been active travelers within their own country,[72] accounted for over 80%, and international tourism has also seen healthy growth (nearly doubling since 2001).[66]  IBM MCF-208AM05-1 CPU Fan

Stagnant for over two decades, domestic travel increased strongly in the last few years,[73] and visitors are flocking to a country seen as affordable, exceptionally diverse, and safe.[74]

INDEC recorded 2.7 million foreign tourist arrivals in 2010 (a 28% increase) at Jorge Newbery and Ministro Pistarini International Airports, alone (over half the total); IBM MCF-217PAM05 CPU Fan

of these, 33% arrived from Brazil, 22% from Europe, 12% from the United States and Canada, 8% from Chile, 20% from the rest of the Western Hemisphere, and 5% from the rest of the World.

Electricity generation in Argentina totaled 122.3 billion Kwh in 2009,[58] and consumption, 129.9 billion Kwh in 2012.[2]  HP GB0507PGV1-A CPU Fan

The electricity sector in Argentina constitutes the third largest power market in Latin America. It relies mostly on natural gas power generation (51%), hydroelectricity (28%), and oil-fired generation (12%).[58] Reserves of shale gas and oil in the Vaca Muerta oil field and elsewhere are estimated to be the world's third-largest.[76] IBM MCF-217PAM05 CPU Fan

The first of the country's three nuclear reactors was inaugurated in 1974, and nuclear power generated 7% of the total in 2009.[58] New renewable energytechnologies are barely exploited, however, and the country still has a large untapped hydroelectric potential. Wind energy is the fastest growing among new renewable sources. HP Pavilion dv6-3385la CPU Fan

Fifteen wind farms have been developed since 1994 in Argentina, the only country in the region to produce wind turbines. The 55 MW ofinstalled capacity in these in 2010 will increase by 895 MW upon the completion of new wind farms begun that year.[77] Solar power is also being promoted with the goal of expanding installed solar capacity from 6 MW to 300, and total renewable energy capacity from 625 MW to 3,000 MW.[78] HP Pavilion tx2510us  CPU  Fan

Faced with rising electricity demand (over 5% annually) and declining reserve margins, the government of Argentina is in the process of commissioning large projects, both in the generation and transmission sectors. To keep up with rising demand, it is estimated that about 1,000 MW of new generation capacity are needed each year. HP G62-b55EV CPU Fan

An important number of these projects are being financed by the government through trust funds, while independent private initiative is still limited as it has not fully recovered yet from the effects of the Argentine economic crisis.

The electricity sector was unbundled in generation, transmission and distribution by the reforms carried out in the early 1990s.HP Pavilion dv6-2145sf CPU Fan

Generation occurs in a competitive and mostly liberalized market in which 75% of the generation capacity is owned by private utilities. In contrast, the transmission and distribution sectors are highly regulated and much less competitive than generation.

Argentina's transport infrastructure is relatively advanced.[79] HP Pavilion dv7-1120ew CPU Fan

There are over 230,000 km (144,000 mi) of roads (not including private rural roads) of which 72,000 km (45,000 mi) are paved,[80] and 2,643 kilometres (1,642 mi) are expressways, many of which are privatized tollways.[81] Having doubled in length in recent years, multilane expressways now connect several major cities with more under construction.[82] HP 538340-001 CPU Fan

Expressways are, however, currently inadequate to deal with local traffic,[82] as over 11.4 million motor vehicles were registered nationally as of 2011 (280 per 1000 population).[83]

The railway network has a total length of 37,856 kilometres (23,523 mi).[46] After decades of declining service and inadequate maintenance, most intercity passenger services shut down in 1992 when the state rail company was privatized, HP 535766-001 CPU Fan

and thousands of kilometers of track are now in disuse; outside Greater Buenos Aires most rail lines still in operation are freight related, carrying around 23 million tons a year.[2] The metropolitan rail lines in and around Buenos Aires remained in great demand owing in part to their easy access to the Buenos Aires subway, however; HP 535442-001 CPU Fan

the metro rail network of 833 kilometres (518 mi) carries around 400 million passengers yearly.[84] A similar number of automobiles commute from Greater Buenos Aires to the city proper, and four times that number commute by city bus.[2]

Inaugurated in 1913, the Buenos Aires Metro was the first subway system built in Latin America and the Southern Hemisphere.[85] HP 535441-001 CPU Fan

No longer the most extensive in South America, its 60 kilometres (37 mi) of track carry nearly a million passengers daily.Argentina has around 11,000 km (6,835 mi) of navigable waterways, and these carry more cargo than do the country's freight railways.[86] This includes an extensive network of canals, though Argentina is blessed with ample natural waterways, as well; HP 535439-001 CPU Fan

the most significant among these being the Río de la Plata, Paraná, Uruguay, Río Negro and Paraguay rivers.

Aerolíneas Argentinas is the country's main airline, providing both extensive domestic and international service. Austral Líneas Aéreas is Aerolíneas Argentinas' subsidiary, with a route system that covers almost all of the country. HP 535438-001 CPU Fan

LADE is a military-run commercial airline that flies extensive domestic services. The nation's 33 airports handled domestic air travel totaling 13 million passengers in 2012 and international departures totaling over 11.4 million.

Argentine exports are fairly well diversified. HP 533736-001 CPU Fan

However, although agricultural raw materials were over 20% of the total exports in 2011, agricultural goods including processed foods still account for over 50% of exports. Soy products alone (soybeans, vegetable oil) account for almost one fourth of the total. Cereals, mostly maize and wheat, which were Argentina's leading export during much of the twentieth century, make up less than one tenth now.[88] IBM 13R2760 CPU Fan

Industrial goods today account for over a third of Argentine exports. Motor vehicles and auto parts are the leading industrial export, and over 12% of the total merchandise exports. Chemicals, steel, aluminum, machinery, and plastics account for most of the remaining industrial exports. ACER LU.S040A.067 CPU Fan

Trade in manufactures has historically been in deficit for Argentina, however, and despite the nation's overall trade surplus, its manufacturing trade deficit exceeded US$30 billion in 2011.[89] Accordingly, the system of non-automatic import licensing was extended in 2011,[90] and regulations were enacted for the auto sector establishing a model by which a company's future imports would be determined by their exports (though not necessarily in the same rubric).[91] ACER LU.S050B.078 CPU Fan

A net energy importer until 1987, Argentina's fuel exports began increasing rapidly in the early 1990s and today account for about an eighth of the total. Refined fuels make up about half. Exports of crude petroleum and natural gas have recently been around US$3 billion a year.[88] DELL Studio 1535 CPU Fan

Rapidly growing domestic energy demand and a gradual decline in oil production, resulted in a US$1.5 billion energy trade deficit in 2011 (the first in 24 years).[92]

Argentine imports have historically been dominated by the need for industrial and technological supplies, machinery, and parts, which totaled US$50 billion in 2011 (two-thirds of total imports). HP Pavilion dv6736nr CPU Fan

Consumer goods including motor vehicles make up most of the rest.[88] Trade in services has historically in deficit for Argentina, and in 2012 this deficit widened to over US$3 billion with a record US$19 billion in service imports.[12] The nation's chronic current account deficitwas reversed during the 2002 crisis, and an average current account surplus of US$7 billion was logged between 2002 and 2009; HP Envy 15-1050ca CPU Fan

this surplus later narrowed considerably, but remained at US$3 billion in 2012.

Foreign direct investment in Argentina is divided nearly evenly between manufacturing (36%), natural resources (34%), and services (30%). The chemical and plastics sector (10%) and the automotive sector (6%) lead foreign investment in local manufacturing; HP Pavilion dv7-6100et CPU Fan

oil and gas (22%) and mining (5%), in natural resources; telecommunications (6%), finance (5%), and retail trade (4%), in services.[94] Spain was the leading source of foreign direct investment in Argentina, accounting for US$22 billion (28%) in 2009; the U.S. was the second leading source, with $13 billion (17%).[94] APPLE 661-4951 CPU Fan

Investments from the Netherlands, Brazil, Chile, and Canada have also been significant; in all, foreign nationals hold around US$100 billion in direct investment.[12]

Several bilateral agreements play an important role in promoting U.S. private investment. Argentina has an Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)agreement and an active program with the U.S. Export-Import Bank. IBM 42W2403 CPU Fan

Under the 1994 U.S.–Argentina Bilateral Investment Treaty, U.S. investors enjoy national treatment in all sectors except shipbuilding, fishing, nuclear-power generation, and uranium production. The treaty allows for international arbitration of investment disputes.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Argentina, which averaged US$5.7 billion from 1992 to 1998 and reached in US$24 billion in 1999 (reflecting the purchase of 98% of YPF stock by Repsol), ACER Aspire 9304WSMi CPU Fan

fell during the crisis to US$1.6 billion in 2003.[95] FDI then accelerated, reaching US$8 billion in 2008.[96] The global crisis cut this figure to US$4 billion in 2009; but inflows recovered to US$6.2 billion in 2010[97] and US$8.7 billion in 2011, with FDI in the first half of 2012 up by a further 42%.[98]

FDI volume remained below the regional average as a percent of GDP even as it recovered, however; HP 610773-001 CPU Fan

Kirchner Administration policies and difficulty in enforcing contractual obligations had been blamed for this modest performance.[99] The nature of foreign investment in Argentina nevertheless shifted significantly after 2000, and whereas over half of FDI during the 1990s consisted in privatizations and mergers and acquisitions, IBM ThinkPad R50p 1830 CPU Fan

foreign investment in Argentina became the most technologically oriented in the region – with 51% of FDI in the form of medium and high-tech investment (compared to 36% in Brazil and 3% en Chile).

The economy recovered strongly from the 2001–02 crisis, and was the 21st largest in purchasing power parityterms in 2011;IBM ThinkPad T61 8898 CPU Fan

it per capita income on a purchasing power basis was the highest in Latin America.[1] A lobby representing US creditors who refused to accept Argentina's debt-swap programmes has campaigned to have the country expelled from the G20.[101] These holdouts include numerous vulture funds which had rejected the 2005 offer, and had instead resorted to the courts in a bid for higher returns on their defaulted bonds. IBM ThinkPad R50p 2889 CPU Fan

These disputes had led to a number of liens against central bank accounts in New York and, indirectly, to reduced Argentine access to international credit markets.[102]

Argentina's economy grew by 9% in 2010, and officially, income poverty declined to 8% by 2011;[3] an alternative mesurement conducted by CONICET found that income poverty declined to 22.6%.[IBM ThinkPad R50p 1830 CPU Fan

Argentina's unemployment rate in the fourth quarter of 2011 was reportedly down to 6.7% from 8.4% in the fourth quarter of 2009, according to INDEC data. The jobless rate has declined from 25% in 2002 largely because of both growing global demand for Argentine commodities and strong growth in domestic activity.[105] IBM ThinkPad R50 1829 CPU Fan

Given its ongoing dispute with holdout bondholders, the government has become wary of sending assets to foreign countries (such as the presidential plane, or artworks sent to foreign exhibitions) in case they might be impounded by courts at the behest of holdouts.

Official CPI inflation figures released monthly by INDEC have been a subject of political controversy since 2007.[ IBM ThinkPad R50P CPU Fan

Official inflation data are disregarded by leading union leaders, even in the public sector, when negotiating pay rises.[109] Some private-sector estimates put inflation for 2010 at around 25%, much higher than the official 10.9% rate for 2010.[109] Inflation estimates from Argentina's provinces are also higher than the government's figures.[109IBM Thinkpad W500 CPU Fan

Compaq Presario CQ41-206TU CPU Fan

]The government stands by the validity of its data, but has called in the International Monetary Fund to help it design a new nationwide index to replace the current one.[109]

The government threatens inflation analysts with fine of up to 500,000 pesos if they don't report how they calculate their inflation estimates, which these economists consider as an attempt to limit the availability of independent estimates.  SONY Vaio VPC-EB4X1E/BQ CPU Fan

High inflation has been a weakness of the Argentine economy for decades.[110] Inflation was unofficially estimated to be running at more than 25% annually in December 2010, despite official statistics indicating less than half that figure; this would be the highest level since the 2002 devaluation.[ HP G62-374CA CPU Fan

A committee was established in 2010 in the Argentine Chamber of Deputies by opposition Deputies Patricia Bullrich, Ricardo Gil Lavedra, and others to publish an alternative index based on private estimates.[4] Food price increases, particularly that of beef, began to outstrip wage increases in 2010, leading Argentines to decrease beef consumption per capita from 69 kg (152 lb) to 57 kg (125 lb) annually and to increase consumption of other meats.[ HP Pavilion dv5-1203eg CPU Fan

President Cristina Kirchner insists inflation is not a problem.[110]

Consumer prices for 2011 are expected to rise by 20 to 30%, leading the national mint to buy banknotes of its highest denomination (100 pesos) from Brazil at the end of 2010 to keep up with demand. The central bank is expected to pump at least 1 billion pesos into the economy in this way during 2011. HP Pavilion dv7-3131ez CPU Fan

Argentina, in relation to other Latin American countries, has a moderate to low level of income inequality. Its Gini coefficient of about 0.368 (2011)[115] is reported to be the lowest among Latin American countries.[115] The social gap is worst in the suburbs of the capital, where beneficiaries of the economic rebound live in gated communities, Dell Vostro 3450 CPU Fan

and many of the poor (particularly undocumented immigrants) live in slums known as villas miserias.[116]In the mid-1970s, the most affluent 10% of Argentina's population had an income 12 times that of the poorest 10%. That figure had grown to 18 times by the mid-1990s, and by 2002, the peak of the crisis, the income of the richest segment of the population was 43 times that of the poorest.[116] SONY Vaio VGN-CR23/N CPU Fan

These heightened levels of inequality had improved to 26 times by 2006,[117] and to 16 times at the end of 2010.[118] Economic recovery after 2002 was thus accompanied by significant improvement in income distribution: in 2002, the richest 10% absorbed 40% of all income, compared to 1.1% for the poorest 10%;[119] by 2010, the former received 29% of income, and the latter, 1.8%.HP Pavilion dv6-3043tx CPU Fan

Argentina has an inequality-adjusted human development index of 0.641, compared to 0.519 and 0.652 for neighbouring Brazil and Chile, respectively.[120] The o

fficial, household survey income poverty rate was 8.3% in 2011.[5] The National Research Council, however, estimated income poverty in 2010 at 22.6%,[103] and private consulting firms estimated that in 2011 around 21% fell below the income poverty line.[121] HP Pavilion dv6-3163eo CPU Fan

The World Bank estimated that, in 2009, 2.4% subsisted on less than US$2 per person per day. HP Pavilion dv7-1003eo CPU Fan,Dell Vostro 3450 CPU Fan, HP Pavilion dv7-3067nr CPU Fan

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