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Haiti Economy Profile 2018

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Economy - overviewHaiti is a free market economy with low labor costs and tariff-free access to the US for many of its exports. Two-fifths of all Haitians depend on the agricultural sector, mainly small-scale subsistence farming, which remains vulnerable to damage from frequent natural disasters. Poverty, corruption, vulnerability to natural disasters, and low levels of education for much of the population represent some of the most serious impediments to Haiti’s economic growth. Remittances are the primary source of foreign exchange, equivalent to more than a quarter of GDP, and nearly double the combined value of Haitian exports and foreign direct investment.

Currently the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with close to 60% of the population living under the national poverty line, Haiti’s GDP growth rose to 5.5% in 2011 as the Haitian economy began recovering from the devastating January 2010 earthquake that destroyed much of its capital city, Port-au-Prince, and neighboring areas. However, growth slowed to below 2% in 2015 and 2016 as political uncertainty, drought conditions, decreasing foreign aid, and the depreciation of the national currency took a toll on investment and economic growth. Hurricane Matthew, the fiercest Caribbean storm in nearly a decade, made landfall in Haiti on 4 October 2016, with 140 mile-per-hour winds, creating a new humanitarian emergency. An estimated 2.1 million people were affected by the category 4 storm, which caused extensive damage to crops, houses, livestock, and infrastructure across Haiti’s southern peninsula.

US economic engagement under the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA) and the 2008 Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement Act (HOPE II) have contributed to an increase in apparel exports and investment by providing duty-free access to the US. The Haiti Economic Lift Program (HELP) Act of 2010 extended the CBTPA and HOPE II until 2020, while the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 extended trade benefits provided to Haiti in the HOPE and HELP Acts through September 2025. Apparel sector exports in 2016 reached approximately $850 million and account for over 90% of Haitian exports and more than 10% of the GDP.

Investment in Haiti is hampered by the difficulty of doing business and weak infrastructure, including access to electricity. Haiti's outstanding external debt was cancelled by donor countries following the 2010 earthquake, but has since risen to $2.6 billion as of December 2017, the majority of which is owed to Venezuela under the PetroCaribe program. Although the government has increased its revenue collection, it continues to rely on formal international economic assistance for fiscal sustainability, with over 20% of its annual budget coming from foreign aid or direct budget support.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$19.88 billion (2017 est.)
$19.69 billion (2016 est.)
$19.41 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$8.36 billion (2016 est.)
GDP - real growth rate1% (2017 est.)
1.4% (2016 est.)
1.2% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$1,800 (2017 est.)
$1,800 (2016 est.)
$1,800 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
Gross national saving28.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
29.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
29.3% of GDP (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 99.1%
government consumption: 10%
investment in fixed capital: 32.6%
investment in inventories: -1.4%
exports of goods and services: 20%
imports of goods and services: -60.3%
note: figure for household consumption also includes government consumption (2017 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 21.9%
industry: 20.8%
services: 57.3% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line58.5% (2012 est.)
Labor force4.594 million
note: shortage of skilled labor, unskilled labor abundant (2014 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 38.1%
industry: 11.5%
services: 50.4% (2010)
Unemployment rate40.6% (2010 est.)
note: widespread unemployment and underemployment; more than two-thirds of the labor force do not have formal jobs
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 0.7%
highest 10%: 47.7% (2001)
Distribution of family income - Gini index60.8 (2012)
59.2 (2001)
Budgetrevenues: $1.58 billion
expenditures: $2.251 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues18.9% of GDP (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-8% of GDP (2017 est.)
Public debt33.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
30.2% of GDP (2015 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)14.7% (2017 est.)
13.4% (2016 est.)
Commercial bank prime lending rate14% (31 December 2017 est.)
13.23% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money$1.258 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.049 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money$2.155 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.742 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$3.178 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.253 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
Agriculture - productscoffee, mangoes, cocoa, sugarcane, rice, corn, sorghum; wood, vetiver
Industriestextiles, sugar refining, flour milling, cement, light assembly using imported parts
Industrial production growth rate4% (2017 est.)
Current Account Balance-$91 million (2017 est.)
-$72 million (2016 est.)
Exports$960.1 million (2017 est.)
$995 million (2016 est.)
Exports - commoditiesapparel, manufactures, oils, cocoa, mangoes, coffee
Exports - partnersUS 80.8%, Dominican Republic 5.1% (2016)
Imports$3.621 billion (2017 est.)
$3.183 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commoditiesfood, manufactured goods, machinery and transport equipment, fuels, raw materials
Imports - partnersUS 19.3%, China 18.9%, Netherlands Antilles 18.1%, Indonesia 6.5%, Colombia 4.8% (2016)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$2.044 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.11 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external$2.607 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.17 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$1.46 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.37 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange ratesgourdes (HTG) per US dollar -
65.21 (2017 est.)
63.34 (2016 est.)
63.34 (2015 est.)
50.71 (2014 est.)
45.22 (2013 est.)
Fiscal year1 October - 30 September

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

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