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Ecuador Economy Profile

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Economy - overview

Ecuador is substantially dependent on its petroleum resources, which accounted for about a third of the country's export earnings in 2017. Remittances from overseas Ecuadorian are also important.

In 1999/2000, Ecuador's economy suffered from a banking crisis that lead to some reforms, including adoption of the US dollar as legal tender. Dollarization stabilized the economy, and positive growth returned in most of the years that followed. China has become Ecuador's largest foreign lender since 2008 and now accounts for 77.7% of the Ecuador’s bilateral debt. Various economic policies under the CORREA administration, such as an announcement in 2017 that Ecuador would terminate 13 bilateral investment treaties - including one with the US, generated economic uncertainty and discouraged private investment.

Faced with a 2013 trade deficit of $1.1 billion, Ecuador imposed tariff surcharges from 5% to 45% on an estimated 32% of imports. Ecuador’s economy fell into recession in 2015 and remained in recession in 2016. Declining oil prices and exports forced the CORREA administration to cut government oulays. Foreign investment in Ecuador is low as a result of the unstable regulatory environment and weak rule of law.

n April of 2017, Lenin MORENO was elected President of Ecuador by popular vote. His immediate challenge was to reengage the private sector to improve cash flow in the country. Ecuador’s economy returned to positive, but sluggish, growth. In early 2018, the MORENO administration held a public referendum on seven economic and political issues in a move counter to CORREA-administration policies, reduce corruption, strengthen democracy, and revive employment and the economy. The referendum resulted in repeal of taxes associated with recovery from the earthquake of 2016, reduced restrictions on metal mining in the Yasuni Intangible Zone - a protected area, and several political reforms.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$193 billion (2017 est.)
$188.6 billion (2016 est.)
$190.9 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)
$104.3 billion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate
0.06% (2019 est.)
1.29% (2018 est.)
2.37% (2017 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)
$11,500 (2017 est.)
$11,400 (2016 est.)
$11,700 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Gross national saving
25.9% of GDP (2017 est.)
26.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
24.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use
household consumption: 60.7% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 14.4% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 24.3% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: 1% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 20.8% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -21.3% (2017 est.)
GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 6.7% (2017 est.)
industry: 32.9% (2017 est.)
services: 60.4% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line
21.5% (December 2017 est.)
Labor force
8.086 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupation
agriculture: 26.1%
industry: 18.4%
services: 55.5% (2017 est.)
Unemployment rate
5.71% (2019 est.)
5.26% (2018 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24
total: 7.9%
male: 6.4%
female: 10.6% (2018 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: 1.4%
highest 10%: 35.4% (2012 est.)

note: data are for urban households only

Distribution of family income - Gini index
45.9 (December 2017)
48.5 (December 2017)

note: data are for urban households only

Budget
revenues: 33.43 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 38.08 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues
32% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)
-4.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt
45.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
43.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
0.4% (2017 est.)
1.7% (2016 est.)
Central bank discount rate
8.17% (31 December 2011)
8.68% (31 December 2010)
Commercial bank prime lending rate
7.92% (31 December 2017 est.)
8.69% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money
$9.578 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$9.281 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money
$9.578 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$9.281 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit
$39.3 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$35.56 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares
$6.838 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$6.065 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$6.615 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Agriculture - products
bananas, coffee, cocoa, rice, potatoes, cassava (manioc, tapioca), plantains, sugarcane; cattle, sheep, pigs, beef, pork, dairy products; fish, shrimp; balsa wood
Industries
petroleum, food processing, textiles, wood products, chemicals
Industrial production growth rate
-0.6% (2017 est.)

note: excludes oil refining

Current Account Balance
-$53 million (2019 est.)
-$1.328 billion (2018 est.)
Exports
$19.62 billion (2017 est.)
$16.8 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities
petroleum, bananas, cut flowers, shrimp, cacao, coffee, wood, fish
Exports - partners
US 31.5%, Vietnam 7.6%, Peru 6.7%, Chile 6.5%, Panama 4.9%, Russia 4.4%, China 4% (2017)
Imports
$19.31 billion (2017 est.)
$15.86 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities
industrial materials, fuels and lubricants, nondurable consumer goods
Imports - partners
US 22.8%, China 15.4%, Colombia 8.7%, Panama 6.4%, Brazil 4.4%, Peru 4.2% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
$2.395 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$4.259 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external
$39.29 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$38.14 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home
$17.25 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$16.63 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad
$6.33 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Exchange rates

the US dollar became Ecuador's currency in 2001

Fiscal year
calendar year

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on Friday, November 27, 2020

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