In the first nine months of the year, national government revenue grew by 5.0% YoY in real terms, while expenditure grew by 9.4% YoY, mainly driven by expenditures to mitigate the consequences of the pandemic.

  • Excluding the profits transferred by the Central Bank (BCRA), which totaled AR$1.17 trillion as of September, total resources contracted by 17.6% YoY in real terms compared to the previous year.
  • Primary expenditures increased by 21.9% YoY, basically to mitigate the health crisis.
  • As of September, approximately AR$723.2 billion of expenditures related to COVID-19 were accrued, without which primary expenditure would have expanded by 2.4% YoY in real terms.
  • The primary balance up to September 30, 2019, excluding BCRA profits, went from a surplus of AR$75.9 billion to a deficit of AR$1.4 trillion in the same period of 2020.
  • Social programs registered an execution of AR$85.1 billion in the first nine months of 2019 and AR$671.9 billion in the term January-September 2020, which means an increase of 447.0% YoY in real terms.
  • The initial budget for the year increased by $2.7 trillion and 62.7% of this increase was allocated to reinforce social benefits.


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.


Next year’s projected expenditure on energy and transportation subsidies amounts to AR$805.8 billion, which is equivalent to 2.2% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), at the same level of that foreseen for 2020. Of these funds, 77.4% is allocated to subsidize the gas and electricity sector, and 22.6% to transportation.

  • Since 2017, energy subsidies have grown 0.5% of GDP and in 2021 they will be at 1.7%, same as this year. The highest record was in 2014, with 2.8%.
  • The most significant allocations are for the electricity sector, with AR$446.6 billion foreseen in the Budget Bill for 2021, a real increase of 4%.
  • Users will face 43% of the estimated cost of electricity next year, a level comparable to that of 2016.
  • The energy deficit in the last decade averaged USD2.98 billion, contrasting with the trade surplus of that time.
  • A total of AR$71.7 billion will be allocated in subsidies to natural gas supply, which implies an increase of 5.3% with respect to the expected for 2020.
  • A rise in subsidies to natural gas demand is also foreseen, including a higher subsidy to liquefied gas cylinders.
  • Transportation subsidies would remain at 0.5% of GDP, with an increase for motor vehicles and a cut for trains.
  • Travel on working days will increase 200% and the AR$12.7 billion to finance social fare implies a drop in real terms of 17.7% in relation to the expected for 2020.
  • In the last months, 91% of the costs were covered with subsidies and the passenger load factor was 5%.


The Budget Bill for 2021 shows a decrease in allocations for cross-cutting policies in real terms. with respect to the estimated closing for 2020 (3.6% for gender equality policy, 2.7% for children and adolescents, and 9.1% for the care of persons with disabilities)
On the other hand, items related to actions against gender-based violence, sexual and reproductive health, educational infrastructure, digital education, and spending on the defense of children and adolescents, show significant increases in real terms.

  • The Budget Bill makes gender equality a priority of budgetary policy: the allocation of resources loses to inflation, but its share of total spending rises to 19% next year.
  • The item Gender Violence will have an increase of 618.5% in real terms: AR$4.5 billion will be allocated to “Acompañar”, a new program to assist persons and groups most affected by gender violence.
  • The budget assigned to the Ministry of Women, Gender and Diversity registers a real increase of 765% compared to 2020.
  • The resources allocated to the Alimentar card will have a reduction of 34.8% in real terms and the contributions to school canteens will decline 22.6%. This year, these programs received exceptional reinforcements in the context of the health emergency.
  • The provision and supply of vaccines for children and adolescents will rise 5% in real terms and the amount of fortified milk will increase 61%, but the allocation to the Garrahan Hospital will fall 11.7%.
  • Universal allowance for social protection shows a budgetary decrease of 11.7% in real terms, which is lessened, but does not change its trend, if we consider the extraordinary outlays granted in the framework of the pandemic during 2020, which raises the basis for comparison.
  • Funds for the construction and improvement of kindergartens will increase by 595%.
  • Resources for disability care will fall by 9.1%, partly because special assistance granted during the pandemic is not considered for next year.


The Budget Bill for the year 2021 estimates an interest expense for the national government of AR$665.95 billion for 2020 and AR$661.18 billion for 2021, including interest payable to entities within the national government. If government-owned companies, trust funds and other entities are considered, the estimated interest expense of the National Non-Financial Public Sector is equivalent to 2.5% of GDP in 2020 and 1.8% in 2021.

For 2021, the Budget Bill foresees financing needs for a total of AR$6.26 trillion (16.7% of GDP) which is assumed to be financed with new debt with entities of the national public sector for a total of AR$3.68 trillion (including temporary advances from the BCRA – Central Bank of the Argentine Republic), issuance of domestic debt securities to the private sector for AR$2.22 trillion and disbursements from international and bilateral entities for AR$348.9 billion.

Regarding BCRA’s financial assistance to the Treasury, the Budget Bill anticipates a net financing through Temporary Advances for AR$400 billion in 2021 (1.1% of GDP). In addition, profit transfers from the BCRA to the Treasury are estimated at AR$800 billion (2.1% of GDP).

Sections 42, 28 and 50 of 2021 Budget Bill establish limits to the gross amounts of securities issuance and loans maturing after the closing of fiscal year 2021 with a total authorized amount equivalent to AR$6.57 trillion. On the other hand, Sections 43 and 44 authorize the use of short-term credit (maturing within the same fiscal year), establishing limits on the outstanding amounts of such instruments for a total of AR$1.75 trillion.



National tax revenue showed a real increase of 5.6% in September, the first increase so far this year, partly due to adjustments in the tax deadline calendar, the relaxation of social isolation, and the lower comparison base against September 2019.

Total revenue amounted to AR$606.5 billion, which implied a nominal growth of 43.7% YoY, and Social Security resources grew for the first time in real terms since April 2018.

This growth in collection is explained by the gradual increase in the level of activity but mainly because last month’s Income Tax and Wealth Tax deadlines, originally scheduled for previous months, became effective.

In absolute terms, the taxes that contributed most to the nominal increase in revenue were Income Tax (20%), Value Added Tax (17.2%), Wealth Tax (11.8%) and PAIS Tax (11.3%).

This last tax obtained a record collection, generating AR$20.8 billion from the purchase of dollars for hoarding purposes.

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