With a significant rebound in expenditure on housing and urban planning, public investment (PI) executed during the first half of 2021 amounted to ARS296.98 billion, which jumped 107.2% in real terms compared to the execution of the same period in 2020.

This improvement is explained both by the increase in capital transfers, which rose 132% year-on-year, and by the higher direct real investment, which jumped 63%.

Thus, the highest proportion of the last four years with respect to primary expenditure was reached: investment represented 7.7%.

  • It accrued 38% of current appropriations, a percentage that climbed to 47.2% in housing and urban planning, one of the most outstanding items, which showed a year-on-year increase of 560.2%.
  • The execution of investment projects involved 452 works for a total of ARS64.62 billion. Of the main 20 -which account for more than half of the funds-, 14 were for the construction of highways and freeways.
  • Buenos Aires and Córdoba were the main recipients of the transfers to provinces and municipalities, which increased by 312.4%.
  • Fifty-four percent of disbursements were concentrated in the Pampas Region, where investment grew by 145.4% YoY.
  • Domestic sources accrued 46.3% of funds and showed an increase of 148.6% YoY compared to the same period a year earlier.


During the month of November, total revenues of the National Government showed an expansion in real terms of 27.0% year on year (YoY) because of the transfer of profits from the Central Bank of Argentina (BCRA) to the National Treasury in the amount of AR$150 billion. If these resources are excluded, total revenues would have fallen by 7.4% YoY.
Tax revenues fell 6.0% YoY, and the 31.1% YoY increase in Income Tax revenues failed to offset the drop in VAT (4.5% YoY) and Export Duties (46.0% YoY).
Primary expenditures (after adjustment of capital expenditures executed in previous years) had, for the first time since March, a variation of less than two digits (1.7% YoY).Considering debt interest (-39.6% YoY), total expenditures in November fell by 18.4% YoY.
By the end of November, AR$32.8 billion of expenditures related to COVID-19 were recorded.
The primary balance shifted from a deficit of AR$105.5 billion in November 2019 to a monthly surplus of AR$57.1 billion in November 2020. The negative financial balance decreased from AR$186.6 billion to AR$9.8 billion.
However, if exceptional revenues, such as transfer of profits from the Central Bank to the Treasury, and expenditures recorded in 2019 that belong to previous fiscal years are not included, November’s primary deficit is equivalent to AR$92.9 billion, which implies a 77.4% deterioration compared to the one recorded in the same period of 2019.
The Pensions item had a contraction of 5.2% YoY due to the decrease in the number of beneficiaries of the system and the benefit mobility policy.
Economic subsidies (AR$60 billion) had a real YoY increase of 19.6%, basically due to those related to energy.
The initial budget for the fiscal year increased by AR$2,7 trillion and 62.9% of this amount was allocated to reinforce social benefits.
Executed expenditure as of November 30 represents 80.6% of current budget appropriation.



National government’s public investment foreseen in the 2021 Budget Bill will increase to 2.0% of the Gross Domestic Product, 0.6% higher in terms of GDP and a real increase of 51,3% YoY in allocated resources. Transfers to other jurisdictions gain relative share and works related to transportation and housing stand out.

  • Public investment in 2021 would change in its composition in relation to the projected closing for this year, with an increase from 59.4% to 62% of capital transfers to the detriment of real direct investment.
  • Public investment increases in all regions of the country, but mainly in interprovincial or national jurisdiction – categorized as “unspecified” -followed by the Pampas region.
  • The function Transportation will have a real increase of 58.1% YoY, mostly due to works within the scope of the National Road Authority (Dirección Nacional de Vialidad) and the purchase of railway equipment by the Ministry of Transportation.
  • The provinces that explain the year-on-year increase in real direct investment are in the Pampas region: Province of Buenos Aires (121.1% YoY), and in the Northwest Region: Salta (808.4% YoY) and Jujuy (444.6% YoY).
  • The Province of Buenos Aires continues being the main recipient of investment projects, with 37.9% of total resources, a concentration even higher than that estimated for the closing of 2020 fiscal year.
  • The two projects that require more resources are the renewal of Belgrano Cargas railroad tracks and the improvement of the Roca Urban Railway, branch Constitución-La Plata.
  • Transfers for Education and Culture are equivalent to 12.3% of total capital transfers, but represent a real increase of 333.9% YoY, basically due to the improvement of kindergartens’ infrastructures.
  • Deconcentration in the execution of public works is being consolidated.


Public Investment executed during 2019 totaled AR$251.52 billion which, after adjusting for AR$67.28 billion of advances to suppliers included last year asset adjustment of Real Direct Investment, amounted to AR$184.24 billion (-29.7% real variation YoY). This is explained by the reduction of capital transfers (-39.7% YoY), which could not be offset by the increase in Real Direct Investment (2.1% YoY) so public investment measured as a proportion of total expenditure (3.94%) and GDP (0.85%) dropped in 2019.

The current appropriation was 15.6% lower than budgeted in real terms, execution level was at 82.8%, and the average value was AR$4,100 per capita, implying a drop compared to 2018 in real terms.

Expenditure on Real Direct Investment totaled AR$ 87.06 billion in 2019, of which 89.5% were investment projects and 10.5% acquisition of capital goods, with an implementation level of 79.7% and 64.0%, respectively. The drop in Real Direct Investment was of -13.8% YoY in real terms, compared to 2018, given that the decrease in the acquisition of capital goods (-62.9%) could not be offset by the increase of investment projects (+2.1%).

Last year ended with 782 projects with positive current appropriation for AR$97.75 billion, 50% of which were concentrated in 14 projects (1.8%). Only one work comprised 96.5% of them and the rest contained multiple works bringing the total to 840.

The 50 most important works accounted for 72.3% of current appropriations and the financial investment reached 79.4%, a level comparable to the average. The physical execution of these 50 works was highly variable, as the initial programming ranged from 0% to 100%, with an average of 34.9%, while the executed works ranged from 0% to 81.1%, with an average of 17.4%. Of the 840 investment projects under execution, 43.7% showed a minimum degree of physical progress and 19.8% showed a high degree of progress.

On the other hand, 70.4% of works have started in previous years, and 10.8% started in 2019, and the projected duration of works is on average 5.9 years, although concentrated in the range of projects of 5 to 6 years and 1 to 3 years.

In 2019, there were 250 investment projects for the Plan Belgrano with a current appropriation of AR$14.8 billion (-26.3% real variation YoY) and expenditures for AR$16.76 billion, of which 57.7% were incurred by the Northwest region and 42,3% by the Northeast region.

Analysis of National Public Investment projected in the 2020 Budget Bill

Analysis of National Public Investment projected in the 2020 Budget Bill

The Budget Bill submitted to Congress in September 2019 estimates a public investment amount for the national government at AR$232.21 billion, with an estimated nominal increase of 19.6% year-on-year with respect to the 2019 closing projection made by the Ministry of Finance.

Public investment of the entire National Public Sector (NPS) -including government-owned companies, trust funds and other entities- would amount to AR$318.02 billion, according to the Message 2020, which is equivalent to 4.9% of the total expenditure of the NPS. This implies a drop of 10.9% year-on-year in relation to what was projected for this year.

The largest increase is in capital transfers made by the national government to other entities or jurisdictions to carry out works or purchase goods, which increased 32.4%. Real direct investment (works projects and equipment acquisition) only increased by 6.1% YoY.

The geographical breakdown of these transfers shows a concentration in the Pampas Region, basically in the Province of Buenos Aires (18%) and in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires (10.3%), jurisdictions in which half of the real direct investment is concentrated.

The Bill provides for the execution of 995 projects to be carried out by the national government for an average amount of AR$80 million each. The total amount shows a decline since 2011: from 0.68% of GDP in 2011 to 0.25% in 2020.

The largest amounts are allocated to railway works, such as the improvement of the Belgrano Cargas Railway, which involves several jurisdictions and would demand AR$5 billion, and to the laying of highways, including Route 19 connecting San Francisco with Córdoba or Route 8 connecting Pilar with Pergamino.

In the rest of the Public Sector, the main direct investments would be carried out by government-owned companies: Nucleoeléctrica Argentina S.A. (36.9% of the total), and Integración Energética Argentina S.A. – Ex- ENARSA (30.3%).

Analysis of Budget Execution – July 2019 – Accrual Basis

Analysis of Budget Execution – July 2019 – Accrual Basis

A surplus of AR$43.42 billion was recorded in July, a considerable improvement over the previous year’s figure (-AR$1.9 billion). The financial balance is negative by AR$21.04 billion but implies a drop of 44.4% in real terms in the year-on-year comparison. Transfers to provinces showed a monthly year-on-year drop for the first time this year.

  • The increase in resources slowed down in July, although they grew again above expenditures (55.9% vs. 49.0%).
  • Tax revenues (58.8%) led total revenue growth, while debt interest (186.4%) and capital expenditures (152.9%) were the fastest growing components of public expenditure.
  • In the first seven months of the year, the financial balance was negative by AR$359.1 billion, an increase of 11.2% with respect to the same period of the previous year. In real terms, this represents a reduction of 27.9%.
  • During the first seven months of the year, 57.0% of total expenditure was accrued, identical to the level recorded in the same period a year ago.
  • From the beginning of the fiscal year to the end of July, the initial budget was increased by AR$88.3 billion, that is, 2.1%. The 39.2% of the amendments were implemented through the Necessity and Urgency Decree 193, while the remaining 60.8% were implemented through four Administrative Decisions.
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