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    Bolivia Economy - 1991

      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 since 1987, eventually restarting economic growth. President Paz Zamora has retained the economic policies of the previous government, keeping inflation down and continuing the moderate 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--agricultural products, 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.

      GDP: $4.85 billion, per capita $690; real growth rate 2.7% (1990)

      Inflation rate (consumer prices): 18% (1990)

      Unemployment rate: 21.5% (1990 est.)

      Budget: revenues $2.5 billion; expenditures $2.8 billion, including capital expenditures of $850 million (1990 est.)

      Exports: $927 million (f.o.b., 1990); commodities--metals 45%, natural gas 30%, other 25% (coffee, soybeans, sugar, cotton, timber); partners--US 15%, Argentina

      Imports: $716 million (c.i.f., 1990); commodities--food, petroleum, consumer goods, capital goods; partners--US 22%

      External debt: $3.7 billion (December 1990)

      Industrial production: growth rate 5% (1990); accounts for almost 30% of GDP

      Electricity: 833,000 kW capacity; 1,763 million kWh produced, 260 kWh per capita (1990)

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

      Agriculture: accounts for about 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 51,900 hectares under cultivation; government considers all but 12,000 hectares illicit; intermediate coca products and cocaine exported to or through Colombia and Brazil to the US and other international drug markets

      Economic aid: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-89), $990 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-88), $1.7 billion; Communist countries (1970-89), $340 million

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

      Exchange rates: bolivianos ($B) per US$1--3.3732 (December 1990), 3.1727 (1990), 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 1991 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Bolivia Economy 1991 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Bolivia Economy 1991 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 08-Feb-03
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