Guatemala Economy - 2021


SOURCE: 2021 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK

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Economic overview

Guatemala is the most populous country in Central America with a GDP per capita roughly half the average for Latin America and the Caribbean. The agricultural sector accounts for 13.5% of GDP and 31% of the labor force; key agricultural exports include sugar, coffee, bananas, and vegetables. Guatemala is the top remittance recipient in Central America as a result of Guatemala's large expatriate community in the US. These inflows are a primary source of foreign income, equivalent to two-thirds of the country's exports and about a tenth of its GDP.

The 1996 peace accords, which ended 36 years of civil war, removed a major obstacle to foreign investment, and Guatemala has since pursued important reforms and macroeconomic stabilization. The Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) entered into force in July 2006, spurring increased investment and diversification of exports, with the largest increases in ethanol and non-traditional agricultural exports. While CAFTA-DR has helped improve the investment climate, concerns over security, the lack of skilled workers, and poor infrastructure continue to hamper foreign direct investment.

The distribution of income remains highly unequal with the richest 20% of the population accounting for more than 51% of Guatemala's overall consumption. More than half of the population is below the national poverty line, and 23% of the population lives in extreme poverty. Poverty among indigenous groups, which make up more than 40% of the population, averages 79%, with 40% of the indigenous population living in extreme poverty. Nearly one-half of Guatemala's children under age five are chronically malnourished, one of the highest malnutrition rates in the world.

Real GDP growth rate

2.8% (2017 est.)

3.1% (2016 est.)

4.1% (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 104

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

3.7% (2019 est.)

3.7% (2018 est.)

4.4% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 159

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: BB- (2020)

Moody's rating: Ba1 (2010)

Standard & Poors rating: BB- (2017)

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$143.416 billion (2019 est.)

$138.106 billion (2018 est.)

$133.804 billion (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 78

GDP (official exchange rate)

$76.678 billion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$8,637 (2019 est.)

$8,448 (2018 est.)

$8,317 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 150

Gross national saving

16.9% of GDP (2019 est.)

14.7% of GDP (2018 est.)

14.7% of GDP (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 130

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 13.3% (2017 est.)

industry: 23.4% (2017 est.)

services: 63.2% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 86.3% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 9.7% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 12.3% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: -0.2% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 18.8% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -26.9% (2017 est.)

Ease of Doing Business Index scores

Overall score: 62.6 (2020)

Starting a Business score: 86.8 (2020)

Trading score: 77.2 (2020)

Enforcement score: 34.5 (2020)

Agricultural products

sugar cane, bananas, oil palm fruit, maize, melons, potatoes, milk, plantains, pineapples, rubber

Industries

sugar, textiles and clothing, furniture, chemicals, petroleum, metals, rubber, tourism

Industrial production growth rate

1.8% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 136

Labor force

6.664 million (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 67

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 31.4%

industry: 12.8%

services: 55.8% (2017 est.)

Unemployment rate

2.3% (2017 est.)

2.4% (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 24

Population below poverty line

59.3% (2014 est.)

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

48.3 (2014 est.)

56 (2011)

country comparison to the world: 18

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 1.6%

highest 10%: 38.4% (2014)

Budget

revenues: 8.164 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 9.156 billion (2017 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

10.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 212

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-1.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 85

Public debt

24.7% of GDP (2017 est.)

24.5% of GDP (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 175

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

$1.134 billion (2017 est.)

$1.023 billion (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 48

Exports

$11.12 billion (2017 est.)

$10.58 billion (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 94

Exports - partners

United States 33%, El Salvador 12%, Honduras 8%, Mexico 5%, Nicaragua 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

bananas, raw sugar, coffee, cardamom, palm oil (2019)

Imports

$17.11 billion (2017 est.)

$15.77 billion (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 91

Imports - partners

United States 36%, China 12%, Mexico 11%, El Salvador 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, broadcasting equipment, packaged medicines, cars, delivery trucks (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$11.77 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$9.156 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 71

Debt - external

$22.92 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$21.45 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 91

Exchange rates

quetzales (GTQ) per US dollar -

7.323 (2017 est.)

7.5999 (2016 est.)

7.5999 (2015 est.)

7.6548 (2014 est.)

7.7322 (2013 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding Guatemala on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Guatemala 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Guatemala 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.