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    Nicaragua Economy - 1990

      Overview: Government control of the economy historically has been extensive, although the new government has pledged to reduce it. The financial system is directly controlled by the state, which also regulates wholesale purchasing, production, sales, foreign trade, and distribution of most goods. Over 50% of the agricultural and industrial firms are state owned. Sandinista economic policies and the war have produced a severe economic crisis. The foundation of the economy continues to be the export of agricultural commodities, largely coffee and cotton. Farm production fell by roughly 7% in 1989, the fifth successive year of decline. The agricultural sector employs 44% of the work force and accounts for 23% of GDP and 86% of export earnings. Industry, which employs 13% of the work force and contributes 26% to GDP, showed a sharp drop of - 23% in 1988 and remains below pre-1979 levels. External debt is one of the highest in the world on a per capita basis. In 1989 the annual inflation rate was 1,700%, down from a record 16,000% in 1988. Shortages of basic consumer goods are widespread.

      GDP: $1.7 billion, per capita $470; real growth rate - 5.0% (1989 est.)

      Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1,700% (1989)

      Unemployment rate: 25% (1989)

      Budget: revenues $0.9 billion; expenditures $1.4 billion, including capital expenditures of $0.15 billion (1987)

      Exports: $250 million (f.o.b., 1989 est.); commodities--coffee, cotton, sugar, bananas, seafood, meat, chemicals; partners--CEMA 15%, OECD 75%, others 10%

      Imports: $550 million (c.i.f., 1989 est.); commodities--petroleum, food, chemicals, machinery, clothing; partners--CEMA 55%, EC 20%, Latin America 10%, others 10%

      External debt: $8 billion (year end 1988)

      Industrial production: growth rate - 23% (1988 est.)

      Electricity: 415,000 kW capacity; 1,340 million kWh produced, 380 kWh per capita (1989)

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

      Agriculture: accounts for 23% of GDP and 44% of work force; cash crops--coffee, bananas, sugarcane, cotton; food crops--rice, corn, cassava, citrus fruit, beans; variety of animal products--beef, veal, pork, poultry, dairy; while normally self-sufficient in food, war-induced shortages now exist

      Aid: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-82), $290 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-87), $981 million; Communist countries (1970-88), $3.3 billion

      Currency: cordoba (plural--cordobas); 1 cordoba (C$) = 100 centavos

      Exchange rates: cordobas (C$) per US$1--65,000 (February 1990) is the free market rate; official rate is 46,000 (February 1990), 270 (1988), 0.103 (1987), 0.097 (1986), 0.039 (1985)

      Fiscal year: calendar year

      NOTE: The information regarding Nicaragua 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 Nicaragua Economy 1990 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Nicaragua Economy 1990 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 07-Feb-03
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