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Paraguay Economy 1999

    Economy—overview: Paraguay has a market economy marked by a large informal sector. The informal sector features both reexport of imported consumer goods (electronics, whiskeys, perfumes, cigarettes, and office equipment) to neighboring countries as well as the activities of thousands of microenterprises and urban street vendors. The formal sector is largely oriented toward services. A large percentage of the population derive their living from agricultural activity, often on a subsistence basis. The formal economy has grown an average of about 3% over the past six years, but GDP declined in 1998. However, population has increased at about the same rate over the same period, leaving per capita income nearly stagnant. The new government of Raul CUBAS Grau was pursuing an economic reform agenda, albeit with limited success because of in-fighting in the ruling party and resistance from the opposition.

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$19.8 billion (1998 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: -0.5% (1998 est.)

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$3,700 (1998 est.)

    GDP—composition by sector:
    agriculture: 27%
    industry: 30%
    services: 43% (1997)

    Population below poverty line: 21.8% (1991 est.)

    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: 0.7%
    highest 10%: 46.6% (1995)

    Inflation rate (consumer prices): 14.6% (1998)

    Labor force: 1.8 million (1995 est.)

    Labor force—by occupation: agriculture 45%

    Unemployment rate: 8.2% (urban) (1996 est.)

    revenues: $1.25 billion
    expenditures: $1.66 billion, including capital expenditures of $357 million (1995 est.)

    Industries: meat packing, oilseed crushing, milling, brewing, textiles, other light consumer goods, cement, construction

    Industrial production growth rate: 5.1% (1995)

    Electricity—production: 45.03 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—production by source:
    fossil fuel: 0.07%
    hydro: 99.93%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 0% (1996)

    Electricity—consumption: 4.768 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—exports: 40.262 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—imports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Agriculture—products: cotton, sugarcane, soybeans, corn, wheat, tobacco, cassava (tapioca), fruits, vegetables; beef, pork, eggs, milk; timber

    Exports: $1.1 billion (f.o.b., 1997 est.)

    Exports—commodities: cotton, soybeans, timber, vegetable oils, meat products, coffee, tung oil

    Exports—partners: Brazil 48%, Netherlands 22%, Argentina 9%, US 4%, Uruguay 3%, Chile 2% (1997)

    Imports: $2.5 billion (c.i.f., 1996 est.)

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

    Imports—partners: Brazil 29%, US 22%, Argentina 14%, Hong Kong 9% (1995)

    Debt—external: $1.3 billion (1996)

    Economic aid—recipient: $180.4 million (1995)

    Currency: 1 guarani (G) = 100 centimos

    Exchange rates: guaranies (G) per US$—2,866.3 (January 1999), 2,755.7 (1998), 2,191.0 (1997), 2,062.8 (1996), 1,970.4 (1995), 1,911.5 (1994)

    Fiscal year: calendar year

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