Imports$10.41 billion (2011 est.)
Exports$9.341 billion (2011 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)8.1% (2011 est.)
Unemployment rate6% (2011 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$15,300 (2011 est.)
National product real growth rate8.5% (2010 est.)
Internet users1.405 million (2009)
Telephones - mobile cellular4.437 million (2009)
Population growth rate0.24% (2012 est.)
Population3,316,328 (July 2012 est.)
About this country
Montevideo, founded by the Spanish in 1726 as a military stronghold, soon took advantage of its natural harbor to become an important commercial center.
Claimed by Argentina but annexed by Brazil in 1821, Uruguay declared its independence four years later and secured its freedom in 1828 after a three-year struggle.
The administrations of President Jose BATLLE in the early 20th century established widespread political, social, and economic reforms that established a statist tradition....
Uruguay's economy is characterized by an export-oriented agricultural sector, a well-educated work force, and high levels of social spending.
After averaging growth of 5% annually during 1996-98, in 1999-2002 the economy suffered a major downturn, stemming largely from the spillover effects of the economic problems of its large neighbors, Argentina and Brazil.
In 2001-02, Argentine citizens made massive withdrawals of dollars deposited in Uruguayan banks after bank deposits in Argentina were frozen, which led to a plunge in the Uruguayan peso, a banking crisis, and a sharp economic contraction....
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