Economy - overview: Nicaragua is one of the hemisphere's poorest countries, with low per capita income, flagging socio-economic indicators, and huge external debt. The country has made significant progress toward macro-economic stabilization over the past few years - even with the damage caused by Hurricane Mitch in the fall of 1998. International aid, debt relief, and continued foreign investment have contributed to the stabilization process. GDP grew 6.3% in 1999, while inflation remained about 12%, and unemployment dropped. Nicaragua may qualify for the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative, though aid is conditioned on improving governability, the openness of government financial operations, poverty alleviation, and human rights.
Definition: This entry briefly describes the type of economy, including the degree of market orientation, the level of economic development, the most important natural resources, and the unique areas of specialization. It also characterizes major economic events and policy changes in the most recent 12 months and may include a statement about one or two key future macroeconomic trends.
Source: CIA World Factbook - Unless otherwise noted, information in this page is accurate as of April 17, 2000
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