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Bolivia Economy Profile 2017

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Economy - overviewBolivia is a resource rich country with strong growth attributed to captive markets for natural gas exports – to Brazil and Argentina. However, the country remains one of the least developed countries in Latin America because of state-oriented policies that deter investment and growth.

Following a disastrous economic crisis during the early 1980s, reforms spurred private investment, stimulated economic growth, and cut poverty rates in the 1990s. The period 2003-05 was characterized by political instability, racial tensions, and violent protests against plans - subsequently abandoned - to export Bolivia's newly discovered natural gas reserves to large Northern Hemisphere markets. In 2005, the government passed a controversial hydrocarbons law that imposed significantly higher royalties and required foreign firms then operating under risk-sharing contracts to surrender all production to the state energy company in exchange for a predetermined service fee. High commodity prices between 2010 and 2014 sustained rapid growth and large trade surpluses with GDP growing 6.8% in 2013 and 5.4% in 2014. The global decline in oil prices that began in late 2014 exerted downward pressure on the price Bolivia receives for exported gas and resulted in lower GDP growth rates - 4.9% in 2015 and 4.3% in 2016 - and losses in government revenue as well as fiscal and trade deficits.

A lack of foreign investment in the key sectors of mining and hydrocarbons, along with conflict among social groups, pose challenges for the Bolivian economy. In 2015, President Evo MORALES expanded efforts to court international investment and boost Bolivia’s energy production capacity. MORALES passed an investment law and promised not to nationalize additional industries in an effort to improve the investment climate. In early 2016, the Government of Bolivia approved the 2016-2020 National Economic and Social Development Plan aimed at maintaining growth of 5% and reducing poverty.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$78.66 billion (2016 est.)
$75.41 billion (2015 est.)
$71.89 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$34.04 billion (2016 est.)
GDP - real growth rate4.3% (2016 est.)
4.9% (2015 est.)
5.4% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$7,200 (2016 est.)
$7,000 (2015 est.)
$6,800 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving12.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
13.2% of GDP (2015 est.)
20.5% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 69.1%
government consumption: 17.5%
investment in fixed capital: 20.8%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 24.6%
imports of goods and services: -32% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 12.9%
industry: 29.3%
services: 57.7% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line38.6%
note: based on percent of population living on less than the international standard of $2/day (2011 est.)
Labor force4.993 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 29.4%
industry: 22%
services: 48.6% (2015 est.)
Unemployment rate4.1% (2016 est.)
4.4% (2015 est.)
note: data are for urban areas; widespread underemployment
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 6.2%
male: 5.1%
female: 7.8% (2011 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 0.9%
highest 10%: 36.1% (2014 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index47 (2016 est.)
57.9 (1999)
Budgetrevenues: $14.69 billion
expenditures: $16.93 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues43.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-6.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt34% of GDP (2016 est.)
33.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
note: data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities
Inflation rate (consumer prices)4% (2016 est.)
3% (2015 est.)
Central bank discount rate1.5% (31 December 2016 est.)
2.5% (31 December 2015 est.)
Commercial bank prime lending rate7.6% (31 December 2016 est.)
8.07% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$10.22 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$10.26 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$17.77 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$15.45 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$19.9 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$16.8 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$12.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$11.11 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$9.833 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Agriculture - productssoybeans, quinoa, Brazil nuts, sugarcane, coffee, corn, rice, potatoes, chia, coca
Industriesmining, smelting, petroleum, food and beverages, tobacco, handicrafts, clothing, jewelry
Industrial production growth rate6.2% (2016 est.)
Current Account Balance-$1.876 billion (2016 est.)
-$1.854 billion (2015 est.)
Exports$7.214 billion (2016 est.)
$8.909 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesnatural gas, silver, zinc, lead, tin, gold, quinoa, soybeans and soy products
Exports - partnersBrazil 28.1%, Argentina 16.9%, US 12.1%, Colombia 6.3%, China 5.3%, Japan 4.7%, South Korea 4.3% (2015)
Imports$8.427 billion (2016 est.)
$9.682 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery, petroleum products, vehicles, iron and steel, plastics
Imports - partnersChina 17.9%, Brazil 16.5%, Argentina 11.8%, US 10.6%, Peru 6.2%, Japan 5.2%, Chile 4.6% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$10.08 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$13.06 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external$7.268 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$6.341 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$1.059 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.084 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$0 (31 December 2016 est.)
$0 (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesbolivianos (BOB) per US dollar -
6.91 (2016 est.)
6.91 (2015 est.)
6.91 (2014 est.)
6.91 (2013 est.)
6.94 (2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017

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