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    Bolivia Economy - 1990

      Overview: The Bolivian economy steadily deteriorated between 1980 and 1985 as La Paz financed growing budget deficits by expanding the money supply and inflation spiraled--peaking at 11,700%. An austere orthodox economic program adopted by newly elected President Paz Estenssoro in 1985, however, succeeded in reducing inflation to between 10% and 20% annually during 1987 and 1989, eventually restarting economic growth. President Paz Zamora has pledged to retain the economic policies of the previous government in order to keep inflation down and continue the growth begun under his predecessor. Nevertheless, Bolivia continues to be one of the poorest countries in Latin America, and it remains vulnerable to price fluctuations for its limited exports--mainly minerals and natural gas. Moreover, for many farmers, who constitute half of the country's work force, the main cash crop is coca, which is sold for cocaine processing.

      GNP: $4.6 billion, per capita $660; real growth rate 2.8% (1988)

      Inflation rate (consumer prices): 15.5% (1989)

      Unemployment rate: 20.7% (1988)

      Budget: revenues $2,867 million; expenditures $2,867 million, including capital expenditures of $663 million (1987)

      Exports: $634 million (f.o.b., 1989); commodities--metals 45%, natural gas 32%, coffee, soybeans, sugar, cotton, timber, and illicit drugs; partners--US 23%, Argentina

      Imports: $786 million (c.i.f., 1989); commodities--food, petroleum, consumer goods, capital goods; partners--US 15%

      External debt: $5.7 billion (December 1989)

      Industrial production: growth rate 8.1% (1987)

      Electricity: 817,000 kW capacity; 1,728 million kWh produced, 260 kWh per capita (1989)

      Industries: mining, smelting, petroleum, food and beverage, tobacco, handicrafts, clothing; illicit drug industry reportedly produces the largest revenues

      Agriculture: accounts for 20% of GDP (including forestry and fisheries); principal commodities--coffee, coca, cotton, corn, sugarcane, rice, potatoes, timber; self-sufficient in food

      Illicit drugs: world's second-largest producer of coca (after Peru) with an estimated 54,000 hectares under cultivation; government considers all but 12,000 hectares illicit and subject to eradication; intermediate coca products and cocaine exported to or through Colombia and Brazil to the US and other international drug markets

      Aid: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-88), $909 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-87), $1.4 billion; Communist countries (1970-88), $340 million

      Currency: boliviano (plural--bolivianos); 1 boliviano ($B) = 100 centavos

      Exchange rates: bolivianos ($B) per US$1--2.6917 (1989), 2.3502 (1988), 2.0549 (1987), 1.9220 (1986), 0.4400 (1985)

      Fiscal year: calendar year

      NOTE: The information regarding Bolivia on this page is re-published from the 1990 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Bolivia Economy 1990 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Bolivia Economy 1990 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 07-Feb-03
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