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Nicaragua Economy Profile 2017

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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. GDP growth of 4.7% in 2016 was insufficient to make a significant difference. Textiles and agriculture combined account for nearly 50% of Nicaragua's exports. Beef, coffee, and gold are Nicaragua’s top three export commodities.

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 Nicaraguan agricultural and manufactured goods.

In 2013, the government granted a 50-year concession with the option for an additional 50 years to a newly formed Chinese-run company to finance and build an inter-oceanic canal and related projects, at an estimated cost of $50 billion. The canal construction has not started.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$33.55 billion (2016 est.)
$32.04 billion (2015 est.)
$30.54 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$13.41 billion (2016 est.)
GDP - real growth rate4.7% (2016 est.)
4.9% (2015 est.)
4.6% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$5,300 (2016 est.)
$5,100 (2015 est.)
$4,900 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving22.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
23.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
19.7% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 79.4%
government consumption: 7.2%
investment in fixed capital: 32.1%
investment in inventories: 1.6%
exports of goods and services: 36.2%
imports of goods and services: -54.9% (2015 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 14.2%
industry: 19.3%
services: 66.7% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line29.6% (2015 est.)
Labor force3.013 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 31%
industry: 18%
services: 50% (2011 est.)
Unemployment rate6% (2016 est.)
6.1% (2015 est.)
note: underemployment was 46.5% in 2008
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 11.9%
male: 9.8%
female: 15.6% (2010 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 1.8%
highest 10%: 47.1% (2014)
Distribution of family income - Gini index47.1 (2014)
45.8 (2009)
Budgetrevenues: $3.661 billion
expenditures: $3.442 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues27.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)1.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt45% of GDP (2016 est.)
45.3% of GDP (2015 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)3.1% (2016 est.)
3.1% (2015 est.)
Central bank discount rate3% (31 December 2010)
Commercial bank prime lending rate15% (31 December 2016 est.)
12.05% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$1.228 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.093 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$5.528 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$5.311 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$5.732 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$5.677 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$1.568 billion (31 December 2016)
$1.209 billion (31 December 2015)
$995 million (31 December 2014)
Agriculture - productscoffee, bananas, sugarcane, rice, corn, tobacco, cotton, sesame, soya, beans, beef, veal, pork, poultry, dairy products, shrimp, lobsters, peanuts
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 rate3.5% (2016 est.)
Current Account Balance-$1.24 billion (2016 est.)
-$1.045 billion (2015 est.)
Exports$3.108 billion (2016 est.)
$3.341 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiescoffee, beef, gold, sugar, peanuts, shrimp and lobster, tobacco, cigars, automobile wiring harnesses, textiles, apparel
Exports - partnersUS 54.1%, Mexico 11%, Venezuela 6.2%, El Salvador 5.5% (2015)
Imports$6.039 billion (2016 est.)
$6.083 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesconsumer goods, machinery and equipment, raw materials, petroleum products
Imports - partnersUS 18.1%, China 14.4%, Mexico 10.4%, Costa Rica 8.2%, Guatemala 6.9%, Netherlands Antilles 6.1%, El Salvador 5.2% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$2.442 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.492 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external$11.1 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$10.64 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratescordobas (NIO) per US dollar -
28.68 (2016 est.)
27.257 (2015 est.)
27.257 (2014 est.)
26.01 (2013 est.)
23.55 (2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year

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

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