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Nicaragua Economy 1996

    • Overview:
      Since March 1991, when President CHAMORRO began an ambitious economic stabilization program, Nicaragua has had considerable success in reducing inflation and obtaining substantial economic aid from abroad. Annual inflation fell from more than 750% in 1991 to less than 5% in 1992. Inflation rose again to an estimated 20% in 1993, although this increase was due almost entirely to a large currency devaluation in January. As of early 1994, the government was close to finalizing an enhanced structural adjustment facility with the IMF, after the previous standby facility expired in early 1993. Despite these successes, achieving overall economic growth in an economy scarred by misguided economic values and civil war during the 1980s has proved elusive. Economic growth was flat in 1992 and slightly negative in 1993. Nicaragua's per capita foreign debt is one of the highest in the world; nonetheless, as of late 1993, Nicaragua was current on its post-1988 debt as well as on payments to the international financial institutions. Definition of property rights remains a problem; ownership disputes over large tracts of land, businesses, and homes confiscated by the previous government have yet to be resolved. A rise in exports of coffee and other products led growth in 1994.

    • National product:
      GDP - purchasing power parity - $6.4 billion (1994 est.)

    • National product real growth rate:
      3.2% (1994 est.)

    • National product per capita:
      $1,570 (1994 est.)

    • Inflation rate (consumer prices):
      19.5% (1994 est.)

    • Unemployment rate:
      21.8%; underemployment 50% (1993)

    • Budget:

        $375 million (1992)

        $410 million (1992), including capital expenditures of $115 million (1991 est.)

    • Exports:
      $329 million (f.o.b., 1994 est.)

        meat, coffee, cotton, sugar, seafood, gold, bananas

        US, Central America, Canada, Germany

    • Imports:
      $786 million (c.i.f., 1994 est.)

        consumer goods, machinery and equipment, petroleum products

        Central America, US, Venezuela, Japan

    • External debt:
      $11 billion (1993)

    • Industrial production:
      growth rate -0.8% (1993 est.); accounts for 26% of GDP

    • Electricity:

        460,000 kW

        1.6 billion kWh

        consumption per capita:
        376 kWh (1993)

    • Industries:
      food processing, chemicals, metal products, textiles, clothing, petroleum refining and distribution, beverages, footwear

    • Agriculture:
      crops account for about 15% of GDP; export crops - coffee, bananas, sugarcane, cotton; food crops - rice, corn, cassava, citrus fruit, beans; also produces a variety of animal products - beef, veal, pork, poultry, dairy products; normally self-sufficient in food

    • Illicit drugs:
      transshipment point for cocaine destined for the US

    • Economic aid:

        US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-92), $620 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $1.381 billion

    • Currency:
      1 gold cordoba (C$) = 100 centavos

    • Exchange rates:
      gold cordobas (C$) per US$1 - 7.08 (December 1994), 6.72 (1994), 5.62 (1993), 5.00 (1992); note - gold cordoba replaced cordoba as Nicaragua's currency in 1991 (exchange rate of old cordoba had reached per US$1 - 25,000,000 by March 1992)

    • Fiscal year:
      calendar year

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