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In 1816, the United Provinces of the Rio Plata declared their independence from Spain. After Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay went their separate ways, the area that remained became Argentina. The country's population and culture were heavily shaped by immigrants from throughout Europe, but most particularly Italy and Spain, which provided the largest percentage of newcomers from 1860 to 1930. Up until about the mid-20th century, much of Argentina's history was dominated by periods of internal political conflict between Federalists and Unitarians and between civilian and military factions. After World War II, an era of Peronist populism and direct and indirect military interference in subsequent governments was followed by a military junta that took power in 1976. Democracy returned in 1983 after a failed bid to seize the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) by force, and has persisted despite numerous challenges, the most formidable of which was a severe economic crisis in 2001-02 that led to violent public protests and the successive resignations of several presidents.


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Economy

Economy - 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. A severe depression, growing public and external indebtedness, and a bank run culminated in 2001 in the most serious economic, social, and political crisis in the country's turbulent history. Interim President Adolfo RODRIGUEZ SAA declared a default - the largest in history - on the government's foreign debt in December of that year, and abruptly resigned only a few days after taking office. His successor, Eduardo DUHALDE, announced an end to the peso's decade-long 1-to-1 peg to the US dollar in early 2002. The economy bottomed out that year, with real GDP 18% smaller than in 1998 and almost 60% of Argentines under the poverty line. Real GDP rebounded to grow by an average 8.5% annually over the subsequent six years, taking advantage of previously idled industrial capacity and labor, an audacious debt restructuring and reduced debt burden, excellent international financial conditions, and expansionary monetary and fiscal policies. Inflation also increased, however, during the administration of President Nestor KIRCHNER, which responded with price restraints on businesses, as well as export taxes and restraints, and beginning in early 2007, with understating inflation data. Cristina FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER succeeded her husband as President in late 2007, and the rapid economic growth of previous years began to slow sharply the following year as government policies held back exports and the world economy fell into recession. The economy has rebounded strongly from the 2009 recession, but the government's continued reliance on expansionary fiscal and monetary policies risks exacerbating already high inflation.

Gdp (purchasing power parity) World Ranking: 22
$725.6 billion (2011 est.)
$666.5 billion (2010 est.)
$610.6 billion (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp (official exchange rate)
$447.6 billion (2011 est.)

Gdp - real growth rate World Ranking: 11
8.9% (2011 est.)
9.2% (2010 est.)
0.9% (2009 est.)

Gdp - per capita (ppp) World Ranking: 69
$17,700 (2011 est.)
$16,400 (2010 est.)
$15,200 (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp - composition by sector
Agriculture 10%
Industry 30.7%
Services 59.2% (2011 est.)

Labor force World Ranking: 36
16.76 million
Note Urban areas only (2011 est.)

Labor force - by occupation
Agriculture 5%
Industry 23%
Services 72% (2009 est.)

Unemployment rate World Ranking: 82
7.2% (2011 est.)
7.8% (2010 est.)

Population below poverty line
30%
Note
Data are based on private estimates (2010)

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10% 1.5%
Highest 10% 32.3% (2010 est.)

Distribution of family income - gini index World Ranking: 37
45.8 (2009)

Investment (gross fixed) World Ranking: 61
22.6% of GDP (2011 est.)

Budget
Revenues $105.8 billion
Expenditures $113.3 billion (2011 est.)

Taxes and other revenues World Ranking: 133
23.6% of GDP (2011 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) World Ranking: 71
-1.7% of GDP (2011 est.)

Public debt World Ranking: 78
41.4% of GDP (2011 est.)
45.1% of GDP (2010 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices) World Ranking: 218
22% (2010 est.)
16% (2009 est.)
Note
Data are derived from private estimates

Central bank discount rate
NA%

Commercial bank prime lending rate World Ranking: 86
14.09% (31 December 2011 est.)
10.558% (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of narrow money World Ranking: 46
$50.24 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$43.68 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of broad money World Ranking: 50
$123.7 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$106.3 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of domestic credit World Ranking: 47
$132.1 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$104.7 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares World Ranking: 50
$43.58 billion (31 December 2011)
$63.91 billion (31 December 2010)
$48.93 billion (31 December 2009)

Agriculture - products
Sunflower seeds, lemons, soybeans, grapes, corn, tobacco, peanuts, tea, wheat; livestock

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

Industrial production growth rate World Ranking: 48
6.5%
Note
Based on private estimates (2011 est.)

Electricity - production World Ranking: 30
115.4 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - consumption World Ranking: 30
104.7 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - exports
3 billion kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - imports
5.53 billion kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - production World Ranking: 27
763,600 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - consumption World Ranking: 29
618,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - exports World Ranking: 50
238,100 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - imports World Ranking: 113
19,380 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - proved reserves World Ranking: 32
2.505 billion bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural gas - production World Ranking: 24
40.1 billion cu m (2010 est.)

Natural gas - consumption World Ranking: 20
43.46 billion cu m (2010 est.)

Natural gas - exports World Ranking: 38
880 million cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - imports World Ranking: 36
3.78 billion cu m (2010 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves World Ranking: 33
378.8 billion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current account balance World Ranking: 59
$18 million (2011 est.)
$2.818 billion (2010 est.)

Exports World Ranking: 46
$84.27 billion (2011 est.)
$68.13 billion (2010 est.)

Exports - commodities
Soybeans and derivatives, petroleum and gas, vehicles, corn, wheat

Exports - partners
Brazil 21.8%, China 7.4%, Chile 5.6%, US 5.5% (2011)

Imports World Ranking: 46
$70.73 billion (2011 est.)
$53.87 billion (2010 est.)

Imports - commodities
Machinery, motor vehicles, petroleum and natural gas, organic chemicals, plastics

Imports - partners
Brazil 33.2%, US 14.4%, China 12.4%, Germany 4.7% (2011)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold World Ranking: 43
$46.35 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$52.23 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Debt - external World Ranking: 35
$136.8 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$127.9 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home World Ranking: 41
$92.81 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$86.69 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad World Ranking: 38
$30.94 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$29.84 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Exchange rates
Argentine pesos (ARS) per US dollar -
4.1101 (2011 est.)
3.8963 (2010 est.)
3.7101 (2009)
3.1636 (2008)
3.1105 (2007)

Fiscal year
Calendar year


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  Argentina (Buenos Aires):


  GPS points from Argentina (Buenos Aires)

Puesto Santa Elena Provincia De Corrientes

Ogilvie Provincia De Santa Fe

Mollarcito Provincia De San Luis

Medano Del Triste Provincia De San Luis

Chulca Provincia De Tucuman

Blas De Rosales Provincia De Cordoba

Isla Laguna Provincia De Formosa

Portezuelo Vicunorco Provincia De Catamarca




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