Analysis of Argentina Balance of Payments
The economic situation of Argentina was interesting between 1998 and 2007. However, it can be assumed that the worst year of the Argentinean economy was 2002. Before 1998, some factors such as a huge debt reaching 55% of the GDP, a currency pegged to the US $, the “Tequila” crisis in 1995, the devaluation of Mexican and Brazilian currencies, were responsible of the crisis
Firstly we compared trade and GDP, to obtain the trade openness ratio. It increased strongly in 2002, due to a high increase in trade (133% 2001 to 2002) compared to the GDP that declined 11bp. The relatively high level of trade openness registered in 2002: 10.08%, is based on the steep drop in imports 56%, related to the peso devaluation. As the peso stabilized and GDP undertook an ascending trend trade openness bounced back to low level again.
Secondly, the balance of payments of Argentina can be analyzed in order to compare the exports to the GDP. The trade index of the country is under 20% until 2005, which is lower than the Global Trade Index at this time (30%). Nevertheless, it increased to reach a better level in 2007 (25%).
For the valuation of the liquidity level, we compared the reserves to the imports, in volume and number of days. Since 1998, it is decreasing, sharply in 2001 and 2002, then recovering a better level between 20% and 30%. Therefore we can not consider that 4 months of reserves to be sufficient for maintaining a good level of liquidity, it’s a bit lower than the 6 months objective.
In 2006, reserves influenced by the crisis in Mexico, dropped to 10%.
To assess the debt service, we assumed a 5% interest rate, applied to interest payments and exceptional financing. Debt declined in terms of export multiplies especially due to the rise in exports and not to reimbursements. The highly indebted Argentina actually resorted to IMF financing and additional loans in 2001, when confronted with $3bn capital flight....
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