Argentina: A Case of Extreme Volatility. Mario I. Blejer

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1 Argentina: A Case of Extreme Volatility Mario I. Blejer 1

2 Quote from SFml.. Encyclopedia (1909): Argentina: (geog) Country in the southern end of the American continent... Given its vast natural resources and highly qualified manpower, it is widely believed that by the middle of the current century, it could rival the United States for economic and political leadership in the continent. 2

3 Argentina GDP 1995 Prices (Billions US Dollars) slow growth stagnation rapid growth collapse

4 Argentina GDP Growth Rate at 1995 Prices Argen 4

5 Australia GDP Growth Rate at 1995 Prices Australia 5

6 USA GDP Growth Rate at 1995 Prices US 6

7 UK GDP Growth Rate at 1995 Prices UK 7

8 GDP Growth Rate at 1995 Prices Argentina Australia UK US 2001 Argentina 8

9 Argentina GDP Growth Rate at 1995 Prices Argen 9

10 Argentina: Cycles of Growth and Contraction ( ) Argentina s s GDP declined in 15 out of this 32-year period In 10 of the 15 contraction years, the fall in output exceeded 4% a year. In 12 of the 17 growth years, GDP expanded by more than 5% a year 10

11 The Average Annual GDP growth for the period was 1.3%, i.e., zero growth in per-capita terms. After falling 11 percent in 2002, GDP will grow 7 percent in 2003 Argentina s s GDP per capita will be about 15% lower at the end of 2003 compared with

12 Argentina:

13 60,0 50,0 40,0 30,0 20,0 10,0 0,0 May-88 Oct-88 May-89 Oct-89 May-90 Oct-90 May-91 Oct-91 May-92 Oct-92 May-93 Oct-93 May-94 Oct-94 May-95 Oct-95 May-96 Oct-96 May-97 Oct-97 May-98 Oct-98 May-99 Oct-99 May-00 Oct-00 May-01 Oct-01 Oct. 89: 13,3 m. POVERTY (As % of population) Source: CEA-UCEMA, based on INDEC. May 94: 5,7 m Oct 92: 19 m. Oct 99: 8.7m. May.02 Oct-02 13

14 Argentina fell into a trap of high volatility and large fluctuations (quite the opposite to convergence). It led to a major debacle in What are the causes for the long run volatility? How they worked to derail so much the economy in ? 2? 14

15 Causes of the Volatility and Weak Perfomance: STRUCTURAL weaknesses MACROECONOMIC mismanagement 15

16 Jan-98 Mar-98 May-98 Jul-98 Sep-98 Nov-98 Jan-99 Mar-99 May-99 Jul-99 Sep-99 Nov-99 Jan-00 Mar-00 May-00 Jul-00 Sep-00 Nov-00 Jan-01 Mar-01 May-01 Jul-01 Sep-01 Nov-01 Jan-02 Monthly Gross Domestic Product seasonally adjusted (Jan 98 = 100) 102,3 Jun 98 99,0 Dec 99 98,3 Dec 00 94,6 Jul 99 Source: CEA-UCEMA en base a datos del INDEC. Mar-02 May-02 Jul Nov 02 Sep-02 Nov-02 16

17 STRUCTURAL weaknesses: External vulnerability: trade and capital accounts Institutional frailty Judicial weakness Lack of of respect for long term contracts (defaults, confiscation, etc.) Political imbalances -- related to political history, federalism, ideology 17

18 Capital Flows and Economic Activity (Accumulated 4 quarters - U$Sm. GDP Cyclical Component) 8% Capital Flows Private Sector % % 2% 0% -2% -4% -6% GDP Growth Russian Crisis % % IV 94 IV 95 IV 96 IV 97 IV 98 IV. 99 IV. 00 IV 01 18

19 4% 3% 2% 1% 0% -1% -2% Argentina 1998-I 1998-II 1998-III 1998-IV 1999-I 1999-II 1999-III 1999-V 2000-I 2000-II 2000-III 2000-IV 2001-I 2001-II Sudden Stops in Argentina and Chile (Private Capital Flows, Percentage of GDP Argentina Chile 8% 7% 6% 5% 4% 3% 2% 1% 0% -1% 19 Chile

20 II III 1998.IV 1999.I 1999.II 1999.III 1999.IV 2000.I 2000.II 2000.III 2000.IV I 2001.II 2001.III 1998.II 1998.IV 1999.II 1999.IV 2000.II 2000.IV 2001.II 60 Argentina Argentina Chile Chile GDP Investment Economic Activity: GDP and Investments (1998.II=100)

21 Recent Export Performance in Argentina (In thousands of U$S) YEAR CHANGE Total Soybean Fuel Other Exports (!). Soybean Price $170 $230 (Oct. $269) 21

22 STRUCTURAL weaknesses: External vulnerability: trade and capital accounts Institutional frailty Judicial weakness Lack of of respect for long term contracts (defaults, confiscation, etc.) Political imbalances -- related to political history, federalism, ideology 22

23 MACROECONOMIC mismanagement: Largely related to fiscal imbalances (but many of those are, in turn, related to the structural weaknesses discussed before) 23

24 Real Exchange Rate and Inflation % 2.5 Real Exchange Rate (left) Inflation - year over year - (right) 41.0% % 35% 30% % 20% % % 7.4% % % 8.0% 0.7% % 0.1% 0.3% -0.7% -1.5% -1.8% 6.5% % 5% 0% -5% 24

25 3,0% Fiscal misalignement turned the burden of the debt unsusutainable As percentage of GDP 60% 2,0% 1,0% 0,0% -1,0% -2,0% -3,0% -4,0% % 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Overall Result Total Debt (2 axis) Primary Surplus EMBI Spread (2 axis) 25

26 3,0% Fiscal misalignement turned the burden of the debt unsusutainable As percentage of GDP Public Debt 60% 2,0% 1,0% 0,0% -1,0% -2,0% -3,0% -4,0% % 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Overall Result Total Debt (2 axis) Primary Surplus EMBI Spread (2 axis) 26

27 3,0% Fiscal misalignement turned the burden of the debt unsusutainable As percentage of GDP 60% 2,0% 1,0% 0,0% -1,0% -2,0% -3,0% -4,0% Country Risk % 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Overall Result Total Debt (2 axis) Primary Surplus EMBI Spread (2 axis) 27

28 Public Debt (in U$S billions) year 28

29 Federal Budget Deficit ($ millions) Primary Result Deficit Source: Ministry of Economy

30 19,5% 19,0% 18,5% 18,0% 17,5% 17,0% Dic-97 Mar-98 Jun-98 Sep-98 Dic-98 Mar-99 Jun-99 Sep-99 Dic-99 Mar-00 Jun-00 Sep-00 Dic-00 Mar-01 Jun-01 Primary Expenditures as % of GDP (cumulative 12 months) Sep-01 Dic-01 Mar-02 Jun-02 Sep-02 Dic-02 30

31 19,5% 19,0% 18,5% 18,0% 17,5% 17,0% Dic-97 Mar-98 Jun-98 Sep-98 Dic-98 Mar-99 Jun-99 Sep-99 Dic-99 Mar-00 Jun-00 Sep-00 Dic-00 Mar-01 Jun-01 Primary Expenditures as % of GDP (cumulative 12 months) Sep-01 Dic-01 Mar-02 Jun-02 Sep-02 Dic-02 31

32 A general comment on Convergence in the context of Latin American Countries: Is the Center giving the correct incentives? Especially in the area of trade and monetary integration, immigration, political support? Compare EU and the US regarding their immediate periphery 32

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