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Nicaragua Economy Profile 2013

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Economy - overviewNicaragua, the poorest country in Central America and the second poorest in the Western Hemisphere, has widespread underemployment and poverty. The Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) has been in effect since April 2006 and has expanded export opportunities for many agricultural and manufactured goods. Textiles and agriculture combined account for nearly 50% of Nicaragua's exports. The ORTEGA administration's promotion of mixed business initiatives, owned by the Nicaraguan and Venezuelan state oil firms, together with the weak rule of law, could undermine the investment climate for domestic and international private firms in the near-term. Nicaragua relied on an IMF external credit facility to meet internal- and external-debt financing obligations. The most recent IMF program ended in 2011 and Nicaragua is currently in negotiations for a new program. Nicaragua depends heavily on foreign development assistance, however, donors have curtailed this funding in response to November 2008 and subsequent electoral fraud. Nicaragua still struggles with a high public debt burden, however, it succeeded in reducing that burden in 2011. The economy grew at a rate of about 4% in 2012.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$27.1 billion (2012 est.)
$25.76 billion (2011 est.)
$24.43 billion (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$10.51 billion (2012 est.)
GDP - real growth rate5.2% (2012 est.)
5.4% (2011 est.)
3.6% (2010 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$4,500 (2012 est.)
$4,400 (2011 est.)
$4,200 (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 86.1%
government consumption: 10.3%
investment in fixed capital: 32.8%
exports of goods and services: 39.8%
imports of goods and services: -69.1%
(2012 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 17.3%
industry: 25.9%
services: 56.8% (2012 est.)
Population below poverty line42.5% (2009)
Labor force2.961 million (2012 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 28%
industry: 19%
services: 53% (2010 est.)
Unemployment rate7.4% (2012 est.)
7.3% (2011 est.)
note: underemployment was 46.5% in 2008
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 8.6%
male: 8.1%
female: 9.7% (2006)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 1.4%
highest 10%: 41.8% (2005)
Distribution of family income - Gini index40.5 (2010)
60.3 (1998)
Investment (gross fixed)32.8% of GDP (2012 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $2.728 billion
expenditures: $2.752 billion (2012 est.)
Taxes and other revenues26% of GDP (2012 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-0.2% of GDP (2012 est.)
Public debt59.4% of GDP (2012 est.)
61.4% of GDP (2011 est.)
note: official data; data cover general Government Debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by Government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as retirement, medical care, and unemployment, debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions; Nicaragua rebased its GDP figures in 2012, which reduced the figures for debt as a percentage of GDP
Inflation rate (consumer prices)7.2% (2012 est.)
8.1% (2011 est.)
Central bank discount rate3% (31 December 2010 est.)
Commercial bank prime lending rate11.99% (31 December 2012 est.)
10.54% (31 December 2011 est.)
Stock of narrow money$1.31 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$1.125 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Stock of broad money$3.136 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$2.924 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$4.567 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$4.197 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
Agriculture - productscoffee, bananas, sugarcane, rice, corn, tobacco, sesame, soya, beans; beef, veal, pork, poultry, dairy products; shrimp, lobsters, cotton
Industriesfood processing, chemicals, machinery and metal products, knit and woven apparel, petroleum refining and distribution, beverages, footwear, wood, electric wire harness manufacturing, mining
Industrial production growth rate6% (2012 est.)
Current Account Balance-$1.476 billion (2012 est.)
-$1.259 billion (2011 est.)
Exports$4.157 billion (2012 est.)
$3.655 billion (2011 est.)
Exports - commoditiescoffee, beef, gold, sugar, peanuts, shrimp and lobster, tobacco, cigars, automobile wiring harnesses, textiles, apparel, cotton
Exports - partnersUS 54%, Canada 8.4%, Venezuela 7.4%, El Salvador 4.5% (2012)
Imports$6.45 billion (2012 est.)
$5.836 billion (2011 est.)
Imports - commoditiesconsumer goods, machinery and equipment, raw materials, petroleum products
Imports - partnersUS 18.8%, Venezuela 14.4%, Mexico 12.1%, Costa Rica 8.8%, China 7.8%, Guatemala 7.6%, El Salvador 5.1% (2012)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$1.887 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$1.892 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Debt - external$7.926 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$7.309 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Exchange ratescordobas (NIO) per US dollar -
23.547 (2012 est.)
22.424 (2011 est.)
21.356 (2010 est.)
20.34 (2009)
19.374 (2008)
Fiscal yearcalendar year

Source: CIA World Factbook
Unless otherwise noted, information in this page is accurate as of February 21, 2013