Uruguay has a middle income economy, mainly dominated by the State services sector, an export-oriented agricultural sector and an industrial sector. Uruguay relies heavily on trade, particularly in agricultural exports, leaving the country particularly vulnerable to slumps in commodity prices and global economic slowdowns. After averaging growth of 5% annually in 1996-1998, in 1999-2001 the economy suffered from lower demand in
Argentina and Brazil, which together account for nearly half of Uruguay's exports. Despite the severity of the trade shocks, Uruguay's financial indicators remained stabler than those of its neighbours, a reflection of its solid reputation among investors and its investment-grade sovereign bond rating — one of only two in South America.

In recent years Uruguay has shifted some of its energy into developing the commercial use of IT technologies and has become the first exporter of software in L. America.


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