Argentina's foreign debt stood at the end of 2007 at 123.197 billion US dollars, a 13.3% hike over the 108.762 billion of 2006, according to the latest report from the country's Statistics and Census Institute, Indec.
Debt increased 2.985 billion in the last quarter of 2007 and can be attributed "almost entirely to the public sector debt", originated mainly with international credit organizations plus bonds and other documents. In 2005 Argentina's foreign debt actually dropped following the reimbursement of 10 billion US dollars to the International Monetary Fund. Even in 2006 the decline in overall foreign debt continued having contracted to 112.743 billion US dollars. According to Indec Argentina's balance of payments last year closed with a current account surplus of 7.2 billion US dollars, which is 480 million US dollars less than in 2006 because of a lesser trade surplus and companies remittances. The last quarter of 2007 trade surplus was 3.1 billion US dollars which represents a 33% hike over the same period in 2006. Argentina's Economy minister Martin Lousteau said on the occasion that the two surpluses, trade and fiscal, are the pillars of the current economic model "and signals of its solidity" in spite of the global credit crisis. "The current levels of surplus reduce vulnerability to international financial turbulences. Nobody in Argentina has seen his daily life changed because of the foreign credit crisis", said Lousteau. Regarding foreign investment, considered the weak leg of the current model, the Indec report gives no numbers but enumerates several significant takeover operations by foreign companies. Argentina's exports in 2007 totaled 55.9 billion US dollars, --20% increase over 2006--, and imports 42.6 billion, 35% hike, with an overall trade surplus of 13.3 billion US dollars, 532 million less than in 2006. International reserves of the Argentine Central Bank climbed 2.941 billion US dollars and reached over 46 billion at the end of 2007. Currently they stand at 50 billion US dollars, according to the latest data.