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Uruguay Economy Profile 2018

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Economy - overviewUruguay has a free market economy characterized by an export-oriented agricultural sector, a well-educated workforce, and high levels of social spending. Uruguay has sought to expand trade within the Common Market of the South (Mercosur) and with non-Mercosur members, and President VAZQUEZ has maintained his predecessor’s mix of pro-market policies and a strong social safety net.

Following financial difficulties in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Uruguay's economic growth averaged 8% annually during the period 2004-08. The 2008-09 global financial crisis put a brake on Uruguay's vigorous growth, which decelerated to 2.6% in 2009. Nevertheless, the country managed to avoid a recession and keep positive growth rates, mainly through higher public expenditure and investment; GDP growth reached 8.9% in 2010 but slowed markedly in the period 2012-16 as a result of a renewed slowdown in the global economy and in Uruguay's main trade partners and Mercosur counterparts, Argentina and Brazil. Reforms in those countries should give Uruguay an economic boost. Growth picked up in 2017.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$78.41 billion (2017 est.)
$75.76 billion (2016 est.)
$74.67 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$60.27 billion (2016 est.)
GDP - real growth rate3.5% (2017 est.)
1.5% (2016 est.)
0.4% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$22,400 (2017 est.)
$21,800 (2016 est.)
$21,500 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
Gross national saving17.3% of GDP (2017 est.)
18.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
17.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 65.3%
government consumption: 14.1%
investment in fixed capital: 18.6%
investment in inventories: -0.2%
exports of goods and services: 22.3%
imports of goods and services: -20.1% (2017 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 6.2%
industry: 25%
services: 68.8% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line9.7% (2015 est.)
Labor force1.748 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 13%
industry: 14%
services: 73% (2010 est.)
Unemployment rate7.3% (2017 est.)
7.9% (2016 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 22.5%
male: 19.9%
female: 26.2% (2015 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 1.9%
highest 10%: 30.8% (2014 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index41.6 (2014)
41.9 (2013)
Budgetrevenues: $17.69 billion
expenditures: $19.9 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues29.3% of GDP (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-3.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
Public debt62.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
62.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
note: data cover general government debt, and include debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions.
Inflation rate (consumer prices)6.1% (2017 est.)
9.6% (2016 est.)
Central bank discount rate9% (31 December 2012)
8.75% (31 December 2011)
note: Uruguay's central bank uses the benchmark interest rate, rather than the discount rate, to conduct monetary policy; the rates shown here are the benchmark rates
Commercial bank prime lending rate13.6% (31 December 2017 est.)
16.17% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money$4.859 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$4.582 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money$9.329 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$8.781 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$20.98 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$19.61 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$175.4 million (31 December 2012 est.)
$174.6 million (31 December 2011 est.)
$156.9 million (31 December 2010 est.)
Agriculture - productsCellulose, beef, soybeans, rice, wheat; dairy products; fish; lumber, tobacco, wine
Industriesfood processing, electrical machinery, transportation equipment, petroleum products, textiles, chemicals, beverages
Industrial production growth rate1.6% (2017 est.)
Current Account Balance-$268 million (2017 est.)
-$36 million (2016 est.)
Exports$8.976 billion (2017 est.)
$8.387 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commoditiesbeef, soybeans, cellulose, rice, wheat, wood, dairy products, wool
Exports - partnersBrazil 16.4%, China 12.2%, US 6.2%, Argentina 5% (2016)
Imports$8.74 billion (2017 est.)
$8.037 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commoditiesrefined oil, crude oil, passenger and other transportation vehicles, vehicle parts, cellular phones
Imports - partnersChina 18.8%, Brazil 17.9%, Argentina 13.3%, US 6.9%, Germany 4.7% (2016)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$14.28 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$13.47 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external$28.27 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$27.9 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$24.35 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$22.81 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$228.9 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$136.1 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange ratesUruguayan pesos (UYU) per US dollar -
28.77 (2017 est.)
30.163 (2016 est.)
30.163 (2015 est.)
27.52 (2014 est.)
23.246 (2013 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year

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

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