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Nicaragua Economy Profile 2016

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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. Textiles and agriculture combined account for nearly 50% of Nicaragua's exports.

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 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)$31.33 billion (2015 est.)
$29.98 billion (2014 est.)
$28.64 billion (2013 est.)
note: data are in 2015 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$12.22 billion (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate4.5% (2015 est.)
4.7% (2014 est.)
4.5% (2013 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$5,000 (2015 est.)
$4,800 (2014 est.)
$4,700 (2013 est.)
note: data are in 2015 US dollars
Gross national saving19.3% of GDP (2015 est.)
19.6% of GDP (2014 est.)
17.6% of GDP (2013 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 82.7%
government consumption: 6.5%
investment in fixed capital: 28.8%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 40.7%
imports of goods and services: -58.7% (2015 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 18.1%
industry: 22.9%
services: 58.9% (2015 est.)
Population below poverty line29.6% (2015 est.)
Labor force2.98 million (2015 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 31%
industry: 18%
services: 50% (2011 est.)
Unemployment rate6.1% (2015 est.)
6% (2014 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%: 1.4%
highest 10%: 41.8% (2005)
Distribution of family income - Gini index40.5 (2010)
60.3 (1998)
Budgetrevenues: $1.975 billion
expenditures: $2.443 billion (2015 est.)
Taxes and other revenues16% of GDP (2015 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-3.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
Public debt42.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
40.8% of GDP (2014 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)4% (2015 est.)
6% (2014 est.)
Central bank discount rate3% (31 December 2010)
Commercial bank prime lending rate13.5% (31 December 2015 est.)
13.54% (31 December 2014 est.)
Stock of narrow money$1.033 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$943.8 million (31 December 2014 est.)
Stock of broad money$4.453 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$4.136 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$5.265 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$5.146 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
Agriculture - productscoffee, bananas, sugarcane, rice, corn, tobacco, cotton, sesame, soya, beans; beef, veal, pork, poultry, dairy products; shrimp, lobsters
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 rate4% (2015 est.)
Current Account Balance-$1.079 billion (2015 est.)
-$838 million (2014 est.)
Exports$4.492 billion (2015 est.)
$4.974 billion (2014 est.)
Exports - commoditiescoffee, beef, gold, sugar, peanuts, shrimp and lobster, tobacco, cigars, automobile wiring harnesses, textiles, apparel, cotton
Exports - partnersUS 56.5%, Mexico 10.7%, Venezuela 5.4%, El Salvador 4.3% (2015)
Imports$5.902 billion (2015 est.)
$5.746 billion (2014 est.)
Imports - commoditiesconsumer goods, machinery and equipment, raw materials, petroleum products
Imports - partnersUS 19.9%, Mexico 14.9%, China 10.6%, Venezuela 7%, Costa Rica 7%, El Salvador 5.7%, Guatemala 5.6%, Netherlands Antilles 5.5% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$2.32 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$2.276 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Debt - external$10.19 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$9.631 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Exchange ratescordobas (NIO) per US dollar -
27.31 (2015 est.)
26.01 (2014 est.)
26.01 (2013 est.)
23.55 (2012 est.)
22.424 (2011 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on October 8, 2016

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