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Bolivia Economy Profile 2018

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Economy - overviewBolivia is a resource rich country with strong growth attributed to captive markets for natural gas exports to Brazil and Argentina. However, the country remains one of the least developed countries in Latin America because of state-oriented policies that deter investment and growth.

Following a disastrous economic crisis during the early 1980s, reforms spurred private investment, stimulated economic growth, and cut poverty rates in the 1990s. The period 2003-05 was characterized by political instability, racial tensions, and violent protests against plans - subsequently abandoned - to export Bolivia's newly discovered natural gas reserves to large Northern Hemisphere markets. In 2005, the government passed a controversial hydrocarbons law that imposed significantly higher royalties and required foreign firms then operating under risk-sharing contracts to surrender all production to the state energy company in exchange for a predetermined service fee. High commodity prices between 2010 and 2014 sustained rapid growth and large trade surpluses. The global decline in oil prices that began in late 2014 exerted downward pressure on the price Bolivia receives for exported gas and resulted in lower GDP growth rates - declining from 4.9% in 2015 to 4.2% in 2017 - and losses in government revenue as well as fiscal and trade deficits.

A lack of foreign investment in the key sectors of mining and hydrocarbons, along with conflict among social groups, pose challenges for the Bolivian economy. In 2015, in an attempt to improve the investment climate, President Evo MORALES expanded efforts to court international investment and boost Bolivia’s energy production capacity, passing an investment law and promising not to nationalize additional industries. In early 2016, the Government of Bolivia approved the 2016-20 National Economic and Social Development Plan aimed at maintaining growth of 5% and reducing poverty.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$83.5 billion (2017 est.)
$80.14 billion (2016 est.)
$76.86 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$37.78 billion (2016 est.)
GDP - real growth rate4.2% (2017 est.)
4.3% (2016 est.)
4.9% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$7,500 (2017 est.)
$7,400 (2016 est.)
$7,200 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
Gross national saving15.6% of GDP (2017 est.)
15.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
14.2% of GDP (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 69%
government consumption: 17.6%
investment in fixed capital: 20.3%
investment in inventories: 0.5%
exports of goods and services: 24.2%
imports of goods and services: -31.6% (2017 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 13%
industry: 37.4%
services: 54.1% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line38.6%
note: based on percent of population living on less than the international standard of $2/day (2011 est.)
Labor force5.07 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 29.4%
industry: 22%
services: 48.6% (2015 est.)
Unemployment rate4% (2017 est.)
4% (2016 est.)
note: data are for urban areas; widespread underemployment
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 6.9%
male: 6.4%
female: 7.6% (2013 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 0.9%
highest 10%: 36.1% (2014 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index47 (2016 est.)
57.9 (1999)
Budgetrevenues: $15.01 billion
expenditures: $17.35 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues39.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-6.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
Public debt51.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
44.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
note: data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities
Inflation rate (consumer prices)3.2% (2017 est.)
3.6% (2016 est.)
Central bank discount rate1.5% (31 December 2016 est.)
2.5% (31 December 2015 est.)
Commercial bank prime lending rate9.9% (31 December 2017 est.)
7.95% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money$10.41 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$9.09 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money$17.08 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$14.85 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$26.42 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$22.39 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$12.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$11.11 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$9.833 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Agriculture - productssoybeans, quinoa, Brazil nuts, sugarcane, coffee, corn, rice, potatoes, chia, coca
Industriesmining, smelting, petroleum, food and beverages, tobacco, handicrafts, clothing, jewelry
Industrial production growth rate3.5% (2017 est.)
Current Account Balance-$1.791 billion (2017 est.)
-$1.928 billion (2016 est.)
Exports$7.541 billion (2017 est.)
$7 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commoditiesnatural gas, silver, zinc, lead, tin, gold, quinoa, soybeans and soy products
Exports - partnersBrazil 19.3%, US 13.6%, Argentina 11.4%, Colombia 8.8%, China 6.8%, Japan 5.9%, South Korea 5.4%, Peru 4.8%, Belgium 4.6% (2016)
Imports$8.239 billion (2017 est.)
$7.888 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery, petroleum products, vehicles, iron and steel, plastics
Imports - partnersChina 19.9%, Brazil 17.5%, Argentina 10.5%, US 9.8%, Peru 6.9%, Japan 4.9%, Chile 4.1% (2016)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$8.287 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$10.08 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external$14.81 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$11.65 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$1.059 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.084 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$0 (31 December 2016 est.)
$0 (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesbolivianos (BOB) per US dollar -
6.91 (2017 est.)
6.91 (2016 est.)
6.91 (2015 est.)
6.91 (2014 est.)
6.91 (2013 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on January 20, 2018

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