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El Salvador Economy

    Economy—overview: In recent years inflation has fallen to unprecedented levels, and exports have grown substantially. Even so, El Salvador has experienced sizable deficits in both its trade and its fiscal accounts. The trade deficit has been offset by remittances from the large number of Salvadorans living abroad and from external aid. El Salvador sustained damage from Hurricane Mitch, but not as much as other Central American countries. Inflation and the trade deficit are expected to rise somewhat as a result.

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$17.5 billion (1998 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: 3.7% (1998 est.)

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$3,000 (1998 est.)

    GDP—composition by sector:
    agriculture: 15%
    industry: 24%
    services: 61% (1997 est.)

    Population below poverty line: 48.3% (1992 est.)

    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: 1.2%
    highest 10%: 38.3% (1995)

    Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.6% (1998)

    Labor force: 2.26 million (1997 est.)

    Labor force—by occupation: agriculture 40%, commerce 16%, manufacturing 15%, government 13%, financial services 9%, transportation 6%, other 1%

    Unemployment rate: 7.7% (1997 est.)

    Budget:
    revenues: $1.75 billion
    expenditures: $1.82 billion, including capital expenditures of $317 million (1997 est.)

    Industries: food processing, beverages, petroleum, chemicals, fertilizer, textiles, furniture, light metals

    Industrial production growth rate: 7% (1997 est.)

    Electricity—production: 3.575 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—production by source:
    fossil fuel: 22.38%
    hydro: 61.54%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 16.08% (1996)

    Electricity—consumption: 3.547 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—exports: 60 million kWh (1996)

    Electricity—imports: 32 million kWh (1996)

    Agriculture—products: coffee, sugarcane, corn, rice, beans, oilseed, cotton, sorghum; beef, dairy products; shrimp

    Exports: $1.96 billion (f.o.b., 1997 est.)

    Exports—commodities: coffee, sugar; shrimp; textiles

    Exports—partners: US, Guatemala, Germany, Costa Rica, Honduras

    Imports: $3.5 billion (c.i.f., 1997 est.)

    Imports—commodities: raw materials, consumer goods, capital goods, fuels

    Imports—partners: US, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Venezuela, Japan

    Debt—external: $2.6 billion (yearend 1997)

    Economic aid—recipient: $391.7 million (1995); note—US has committed $280 million in economic assistance to El Salvador for 1995-97 (excludes military aid)

    Currency: 1 Salvadoran colon (C) = 100 centavos

    Exchange rates: Salvadoran colones (C) per US$1 (end of period)—8.755 (January 1999-1995), 8.750 (1994)
    note: as of 1 June 1990, the rate is based on the average of the buying and selling rates, set on a weekly basis, for official receipts and payments, imports of petroleum, and coffee exports; prior to that date, a system of floating was in effect

    Fiscal year: calendar year

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)