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Guatemala Economy

    Economy—overview: The agricultural sector accounts for one-fourth of GDP and two-thirds of exports and employs more than half of the labor force. Coffee, sugar, and bananas are the main products. Manufacturing and construction account for one-fifth of GDP. Since assuming office in January 1996, President ARZU has worked to implement a program of economic liberalization and political modernization. The signing of the peace accords in December 1996, which ended 36 years of civil war, removed a major obstacle to foreign investment. In 1998, Hurricane Mitch caused relatively little damage to Guatemala compared to its neighbors. Nevertheless, growth will be somewhat smaller due to the storm. Remaining challenges include increasing government revenues, and negotiating a program with the IMF.

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$45.7 billion (1998 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: 5% (1998 est.)

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$3,800 (1998 est.)

    GDP—composition by sector:
    agriculture: 24%
    industry: 21%
    services: 55% (1997 est.)

    Population below poverty line: NA%

    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: 0.6%
    highest 10%: 46.6% (1989)

    Inflation rate (consumer prices): 6.4% (1998)

    Labor force: 3.32 million (1997 est.)

    Labor force—by occupation: agriculture 58%, services 14%, manufacturing 14%, commerce 7%, construction 4%, transport 2.6%, utilities 0.3%, mining 0.1% (1995)

    Unemployment rate: 5.2% (1997 est.)

    Budget:
    revenues: $NA
    expenditures: $NA

    Industries: sugar, textiles and clothing, furniture, chemicals, petroleum, metals, rubber, tourism

    Industrial production growth rate: 1.9% (1996)

    Electricity—production: 3.1 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—production by source:
    fossil fuel: 29.03%
    hydro: 70.97%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 0% (1996)

    Electricity—consumption: 3.1 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—exports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Electricity—imports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Agriculture—products: sugarcane, corn, bananas, coffee, beans, cardamom; cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens

    Exports: $2.9 billion (f.o.b., 1997 est.)

    Exports—commodities: coffee, sugar, bananas, cardamom, petroleum

    Exports—partners: US 37%, El Salvador 13%, Honduras 7%, Costa Rica 5%, Germany 5%

    Imports: $3.3 billion (c.i.f., 1997 est.)

    Imports—commodities: fuel and petroleum products, machinery, grain, fertilizers, motor vehicles

    Imports—partners: US 44%, Mexico 10%, Venezuela 4.6%, Japan, Germany

    Debt—external: $3.38 billion (1996 est.)

    Economic aid—recipient: $211.9 million (1995)

    Currency: 1 quetzal (Q) = 100 centavos

    Exchange rates: quetzales (Q) per US$1—6.7284 (January 1999), 6.3947 (1998), 6.0653 (1997), 6.0495 (1996), 5.8103 (1995), 5.7512 (1994)

    Fiscal year: calendar year

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