Flag of Haiti

Haiti Economy Profile 2017

Home > Factbook > Countries > Haiti

Economy - overviewHaiti is a free market economy with low labor costs and tariff-free access to the US for many of its exports. Two-fifths of all Haitians depend on the agricultural sector, mainly small-scale subsistence farming, which remains vulnerable to damage from frequent natural disasters. Poverty, corruption, vulnerability to natural disasters, and low levels of education for much of the population represent some of the most serious impediments to Haiti’s economic growth. Remittances are the primary source of foreign exchange, equivalent to more than one quarter of GDP, and nearly double the combined value of Haitian exports and foreign direct investment.

Currently the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with close to 60% of the population living under the national poverty line, Haiti’s GDP growth rose to 5.5% in 2011 as the Haitian economy began recovering from the devastating January 2010 earthquake that destroyed much of its capital city, Port-au-Prince, and neighboring areas. However, growth slowed to below 2% in 2015 and 2016 as political uncertainty, drought conditions, decreasing foreign aid, and the depreciation of the national currency took a toll on investment and economic growth. Hurricane Matthew, the fiercest Caribbean storm in nearly a decade, made landfall in Haiti on 4 October 2016, with 140 mile-per-hour winds, creating a new humanitarian emergency. An estimated 2.1 million people were affected by the category 4 storm, which caused extensive damage to crops, houses, livestock, and infrastructure across Haiti’s southern peninsula.

US economic engagement under the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA) and the 2008 Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement Act (HOPE II) have contributed to an increase in apparel exports and investment by providing duty-free access to the US. The Haiti Economic Lift Program (HELP) Act of 2010 extended the CBTPA and HOPE II until 2020, while the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 extended trade benefits provided to Haiti in the HOPE and HELP Acts through September 2025. Apparel sector exports in 2016 reached approximately $850 million and account for over 90% of Haitian exports and more than 10% of the GDP.

Investment in Haiti is hampered by the difficulty of doing business and weak infrastructure, including access to electricity. Haiti's outstanding external debt was cancelled by donor countries following the 2010 earthquake, but has since risen to above $2 billion as of December 2016, the majority of which is owed to Venezuela under the PetroCaribe program. Although the government has increased its revenue collection, it continues to rely on formal international economic assistance for fiscal sustainability, with over 20% of its annual budget coming from foreign aid or direct budget support.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$19.34 billion (2016 est.)
$19.07 billion (2015 est.)
$18.85 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$8.259 billion (2016 est.)
GDP - real growth rate1.4% (2016 est.)
1.2% (2015 est.)
2.8% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$1,800 (2016 est.)
$1,800 (2015 est.)
$1,800 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving29.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
29.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
24.7% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 97.1%
government consumption: 0%
investment in fixed capital: 32%
investment in inventories: -5.3%
exports of goods and services: 14.9%
imports of goods and services: -44%
note: figure for household consumption also includes government consumption (2015 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 21.5%
industry: 20.3%
services: 58.2% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line58.5% (2012 est.)
Labor force4.594 million
note: shortage of skilled labor, unskilled labor abundant (2014 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 38.1%
industry: 11.5%
services: 50.4% (2010)
Unemployment rate40.6% (2010 est.)
note: widespread unemployment and underemployment; more than two-thirds of the labor force do not have formal jobs
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 0.7%
highest 10%: 47.7% (2001)
Distribution of family income - Gini index60.8 (2012)
59.2 (2001)
Budgetrevenues: $1.563 billion
expenditures: $1.819 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues18.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-3.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt26.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
26.6% of GDP (2014 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)12.4% (2016 est.)
9% (2015 est.)
Commercial bank prime lending rate12.9% (31 December 2016 est.)
12.9% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$988.3 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.073 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$3.818 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$3.793 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$2.61 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.404 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
Agriculture - productscoffee, mangoes, cocoa, sugarcane, rice, corn, sorghum; wood, vetiver
Industriestextiles, sugar refining, flour milling, cement, light assembly using imported parts
Industrial production growth rate0.5% (2016 est.)
Current Account Balance-$73 million (2016 est.)
-$271 million (2015 est.)
Exports$933.2 million (2016 est.)
$1.029 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesapparel, manufactures, oils, cocoa, mangoes, coffee
Exports - partnersUS 85.7% (2015)
Imports$3.149 billion (2016 est.)
$3.445 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesfood, manufactured goods, machinery and transport equipment, fuels, raw materials
Imports - partnersDominican Republic 35.4%, US 24.6%, Netherlands Antilles 9.5%, China 9.4% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$1.936 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.919 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external$2.022 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.969 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$1.384 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.269 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesgourdes (HTG) per US dollar -
63.16 (2016 est.)
50.71 (2015 est.)
50.71 (2014 est.)
45.22 (2013 est.)
41.95 (2012 est.)
Fiscal year1 October - 30 September

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

Economy Comparison