The Argentine economy is very different from that of only a few years ago when the country underwent an extreme economic crisis. A recession that began in 1999 and was enhanced by significant capital flight and high unemployment erupted in 2001 when the country suffered one of its worst ever economic crises. Economic problems triggered some violent social demonstrations and unrest throughout 2001 and 2002. High budget deficits, significant levels of debt and increasing inflation all accumulated and in 2002 the government was forced to end the one-to-one parity between the Argentine peso and the dollar. This move damaged the economy and devastated the national GDP. Almost 60% of Argentineans fell beneath the poverty line as wages failed to keep pace with spiraling inflation and savings were devastated.
Argentina implemented various internationally administered restructuring programs to rectify the countryâ€™s economic woes although in 2006 inflation again rose and hit double figures. The government of Nestor Kirchner undertook various economic measures to halt the economic crisis and many policies have succeeded in bringing growth back to Argentina although approximately a quarter of population remains below the poverty line.
Argentina has developed a healthy export industry especially in the agricultural sector where sunflower seeds, soy produce, lemons, grapes, corn, tobacco, tea, wheat and livestock provide important national revenue. Argentinean wines and beef are also well renowned, valuable industries. Argentina also has economically valuable natural resources and exports petroleum and gas. The current unemployment rate is estimated to be 8.9% and GDP per capita is $13,000. Public debt as a percentage of GDP stands at 59%.
To read about the history of Argentina's economy click here.