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Ecuador Economy Profile 2017

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Economy - overviewEcuador is substantially dependent on its petroleum resources, which have accounted for more than half of the country's export earnings and approximately 25% of public sector revenues in recent years.

In 1999/2000, Ecuador's economy suffered from a banking crisis, with GDP contracting by 5.3% and poverty increasing significantly. In March 2000, the Congress approved a series of structural reforms that also provided for the adoption of the US dollar as legal tender. Dollarization stabilized the economy, and positive growth returned in the years that followed, helped by high oil prices, remittances, and increased non-traditional exports. The economy grew an average of 4.3% per year from 2002 to 2006, the highest five-year average in 25 years. After moderate growth in 2007, the economy reached a growth rate of 6.4% in 2008, buoyed by high global petroleum prices and increased public sector investment. President Rafael CORREA Delgado, who took office in January 2007, defaulted in December 2008 on Ecuador's sovereign debt, which, with a total face value of approximately US$3.2 billion, represented about 30% of Ecuador's public external debt. In May 2009, Ecuador bought back 91% of its "defaulted" bonds via an international reverse auction.

Economic policies under the CORREA administration - for example, an announcement in late 2009 of its intention to terminate 13 bilateral investment treaties, including one with the US - have generated economic uncertainty and discouraged private investment. China has become Ecuador's largest foreign lender since Quito defaulted in 2008, allowing the government to maintain a high rate of social spending; Ecuador contracted with the Chinese government for more than $9.9 billion in forward oil sales, project financing, and budget support loans as of December 2013.

The level of foreign investment in Ecuador continues to be one of the lowest in the region as a result of an unstable regulatory environment, weak rule of law, and the crowding-out effect of public investments. Faced with a 2013 trade deficit of $1.1 billion, Ecuador erected technical barriers to trade in December 2013, causing tensions with its largest trading partners. Ecuador also decriminalized intellectual property rights violations in February 2014. In March, 2015 Ecuador imposed tariff surcharges from 5% to 45% on an estimated 32% of imports. In 2014, oil output increased slightly and production remained steady in 2015 however the oil price decrease from 2014 onward affected government revenue. Ecuador’s economy fell in to recession in 2015 and remained in recession in 2016. As a result, CORREA cut the budget twice in 2015, and reduced it further in 2016.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$182.4 billion (2016 est.)
$186.6 billion (2015 est.)
$186.1 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$99.12 billion (2016 est.)
GDP - real growth rate-2.3% (2016 est.)
0.3% (2015 est.)
3.7% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$11,000 (2016 est.)
$11,500 (2015 est.)
$11,600 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving23.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
25.2% of GDP (2015 est.)
28.1% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 62%
government consumption: 13.3%
investment in fixed capital: 25.5%
investment in inventories: 0.1%
exports of goods and services: 19.8%
imports of goods and services: -20.7% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 6.2%
industry: 34%
services: 59.8% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line25.6% (December 2013 est)
Labor force4.848 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 27.8%
industry: 17.8%
services: 54.4% (2012 est.)
Unemployment rate6.1% (2016 est.)
4.8% (2015 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 10.9%
male: 8.4%
female: 15.7% (2013 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 1.4%
highest 10%: 35.4%
note: data for urban households only (2012 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index48.5 (December 2013)
50.5 (December 2010)
note: data are for urban households
Budgetrevenues: $30.9 billion
expenditures: $34.9 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues31.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-4% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt33% of GDP (2016 est.)
30.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)2.4% (2016 est.)
4% (2015 est.)
Central bank discount rate8.17% (31 December 2011)
8.68% (31 December 2010)
Commercial bank prime lending rate9% (31 December 2016 est.)
8.33% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$20.79 billion (30 September 2016 est.)
$19.04 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$43.25 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$39.65 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$33.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$33.4 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$5.911 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$5.779 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$5.263 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Agriculture - productsbananas, coffee, cocoa, rice, potatoes, cassava (manioc, tapioca), plantains, sugarcane; cattle, sheep, pigs, beef, pork, dairy products; fish, shrimp; balsa wood
Industriespetroleum, food processing, textiles, wood products, chemicals
Industrial production growth rate-3.2%
note: excludes oil refining (2016 est.)
Current Account Balance$1.109 billion (2016 est.)
-$2.201 billion (2015 est.)
Exports$16.77 billion (2016 est.)
$19.05 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiespetroleum, bananas, cut flowers, shrimp, cacao, coffee, wood, fish
Exports - partnersUS 39.5%, Chile 6.2%, Peru 5.1%, Vietnam 4.3%, Colombia 4.3% (2015)
Imports$17.74 billion (2016 est.)
$20.7 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesindustrial materials, fuels and lubricants, nondurable consumer goods
Imports - partnersUS 27.1%, China 15.3%, Colombia 8.3%, Panama 4.9% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$3.8 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.29 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external$33.22 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$30.79 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$17.83 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$15.63 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$6.33 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$6.33 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Exchange ratesthe US dollar became Ecuador's currency in 2001, 1 (2016 est.), 1 (2015 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year

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

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