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Paraguay Economy Profile 2018

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Economy - overviewLandlocked Paraguay has a market economy distinguished by a large informal sector, featuring re-export of imported consumer goods to neighboring countries, as well as the activities of thousands of microenterprises and urban street vendors. A large percentage of the population, especially in rural areas, derives its living from agricultural activity, often on a subsistence basis. Because of the importance of the informal sector, accurate economic measures are difficult to obtain.

On a per capita basis, real income has grown steadily over the past decade. The economy grew rapidly between 2003 and 2008 as strong world demand for commodities, combined with high prices and favorable weather, supported Paraguay's commodity-based export expansion. Paraguay is the sixth largest soy producer in the world. Drought hit in 2008, reducing agricultural exports and slowing the economy even before the onset of the global recession. The economy fell 3.8% in 2009, as lower world demand and commodity prices caused exports to contract. Severe drought and outbreaks of hoof-and-mouth disease in 2012 led to a brief drop in beef and other agricultural exports. Since 2014, however, Paraguay’s economy has grown at a 4% average annual rate due to strong production and high global prices, at a time when other countries in the region have contracted.

The Paraguayan Government recognizes the need to diversify its economy and has taken steps in recent years to do so. In addition to looking for new commodity markets in the Middle East and Europe, Paraguayan officials have promoted the country’s low labor costs, cheap energy from its massive Itaipu Hydroelectric Dam, and single-digit tax rate on foreign firms. As a result, the number of factories operating in the country – mostly transplants from Brazil - has tripled since 2014.

Political uncertainty, corruption, limited progress on structural reform, and deficient infrastructure are the main obstacles to long-term growth. Paraguay has been adverse to public debt throughout its history, but has recently changed its anti-debt policies to finance infrastructure improvements to attract foreign investment. Judicial corruption is endemic and is seen as the greatest barrier to attracting more foreign investment.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$68.05 billion (2017 est.)
$65.51 billion (2016 est.)
$62.93 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$28.78 billion (2016 est.)
GDP - real growth rate3.9% (2017 est.)
4.1% (2016 est.)
3% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$9,800 (2017 est.)
$9,600 (2016 est.)
$9,300 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
Gross national saving20.9% of GDP (2017 est.)
19.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
15.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 66.6%
government consumption: 11.7%
investment in fixed capital: 17.2%
investment in inventories: 0.3%
exports of goods and services: 44.5%
imports of goods and services: -40.2% (2017 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 17.9%
industry: 27.7%
services: 54.5% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line22.2% (2015 est.)
Labor force3.428 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 26.5%
industry: 18.5%
services: 55% (2008)
Unemployment rate6.5% (2017 est.)
6% (2016 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 13%
male: 11.5%
female: 12.3% (2015 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 1.5%
highest 10%: 37.6% (2013 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index51.7 (2014)
53.2 (2009)
Budgetrevenues: $5.366 billion
expenditures: $5.876 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues18.6% of GDP (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-1.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
Public debt22.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
22.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)3.5% (2017 est.)
4.1% (2016 est.)
Central bank discount rate5.5% (31 December 2012)
6% (31 December 2011)
Commercial bank prime lending rate18.5% (31 December 2017 est.)
18.08% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money$4.725 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$4.293 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money$9.505 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$8.557 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$13.31 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$12.14 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$962.3 million (31 December 2012 est.)
$958.1 million (31 December 2011 est.)
$42 million (31 December 2010 est.)
Agriculture - productscotton, sugarcane, soybeans, corn, wheat, tobacco, cassava (manioc, tapioca), fruits, vegetables; beef, pork, eggs, milk; timber
Industriessugar processing, cement, textiles, beverages, wood products, steel, base metals, electric power
Industrial production growth rate6% (2017 est.)
Current Account Balance$327 million (2017 est.)
$460 million (2016 est.)
Exports$11.53 billion (2017 est.)
$10.86 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commoditiessoybeans, livestock feed, cotton, meat, edible oils, wood, leather, gold
Exports - partnersBrazil 35.4%, Argentina 10.5%, Russia 7.6%, Chile 6.1% (2016)
Imports$10.37 billion (2017 est.)
$9.617 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commoditiesroad vehicles, consumer goods, tobacco, petroleum products, electrical machinery, tractors, chemicals, vehicle parts
Imports - partnersChina 27.3%, Brazil 24.3%, Argentina 14.3%, US 7.1% (2016)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$7.504 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$6.881 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external$17.35 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$16.48 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$5.679 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$5.276 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$641.3 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$591.3 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange ratesguarani (PYG) per US dollar -
5,628.1 (2017 est.)
5,680.7 (2016 est.)
5,680.7 (2015 est.)
5,160.4 (2014 est.)
4,462.2 (2013 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year

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

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