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Haiti Economy

    Economy—overview: About 75% of the population lives in abject poverty. Nearly 70% of all Haitians depend on the agriculture sector, which consists mainly of small-scale subsistence farming and employs about two-thirds of the economically active work force. The country has experienced little job creation since President PREVAL took office in February 1996, although the informal economy is growing. Failure to reach agreements with international sponsors have denied Haiti badly needed budget and development assistance. Meeting aid conditions in 1999 will be especially challenging in the face of mounting popular criticism of reforms.

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$8.9 billion (1998 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: 3% (1998 est.)

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$1,300 (1998 est.)

    GDP—composition by sector:
    agriculture: 42%
    industry: 14%
    services: 44% (1997 est.)

    Population below poverty line: 75% (1998 est.)

    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%

    Inflation rate (consumer prices): 8% (1998 est.)

    Labor force: 3.6 million (1995)
    note: shortage of skilled labor, unskilled labor abundant (1998)

    Labor force—by occupation: agriculture 66%, services 25%, industry 9%

    Unemployment rate: 60% (1996 est.)

    Budget:
    revenues: $323 million
    expenditures: $363 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY97/98 est.)

    Industries: sugar refining, flour milling, textiles, cement, tourism, light assembly industries based on imported parts

    Industrial production growth rate: 0.6% (1997 est.)

    Electricity—production: 415 million kWh (1996)

    Electricity—production by source:
    fossil fuel: 60.24%
    hydro: 39.76%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 0% (1996)

    Electricity—consumption: 415 million kWh (1996)

    Electricity—exports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Electricity—imports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Agriculture—products: coffee, mangoes, sugarcane, rice, corn, sorghum; wood

    Exports: $110 million (f.o.b., 1997)

    Exports—commodities: light manufactures 80.5%, coffee 7.6%, other agriculture 7.2%

    Exports—partners: US 76%, EU 19% (1997)

    Imports: $486 million (f.o.b., 1997)

    Imports—commodities: machines and manufactures 50%, food and beverages 39%, petroleum products 2%, chemicals 5%, fats and oils 4%

    Imports—partners: US 60%, EU 12% (1997)

    Debt—external: $1 billion (1997 est.)

    Economic aid—recipient: $730.6 million (1995)

    Currency: 1 gourde (G) = 100 centimes

    Exchange rates: gourdes (G) per US$1—16.778 (January 1999), 16.205 (1998), 17.311 (1997), 15.093 (1996), 16.160 (1995), 12.947 (1994)

    Fiscal year: 1 October—30 September

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