Nicaragua Economy - 2021


SOURCE: 2021 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK

GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese

Economic overview

Nicaragua, the poorest country in Central America and the second poorest in the Western Hemisphere, has widespread underemployment and poverty. GDP growth of 4.5% in 2017 was insufficient to make a significant difference. Textiles and agriculture combined account for nearly 50% of Nicaragua's exports. Beef, coffee, and gold are Nicaragua’s top three export commodities.

The Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement has been in effect since April 2006 and has expanded export opportunities for many Nicaraguan agricultural and manufactured goods.

In 2013, the government granted a 50-year concession with the option for an additional 50 years to a newly formed Chinese-run company to finance and build an inter-oceanic canal and related projects, at an estimated cost of $50 billion. The canal construction has not started.

Real GDP growth rate

4.9% (2017 est.)

4.7% (2016 est.)

4.8% (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 50

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

5.3% (2019 est.)

4.9% (2018 est.)

3.8% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 186

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: B- (2018)

Moody's rating: B3 (2020)

Standard & Poors rating: B- (2018)

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$35.392 billion (2019 est.)

$36.82 billion (2018 est.)

$38.334 billion (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 130

GDP (official exchange rate)

$12.57 billion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$5,407 (2019 est.)

$5,695 (2018 est.)

$6,004 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 171

Gross national saving

22.6% of GDP (2019 est.)

21.9% of GDP (2018 est.)

22.4% of GDP (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 88

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 15.5% (2017 est.)

industry: 24.4% (2017 est.)

services: 60% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 69.9% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 15.3% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 28.1% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 1.7% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 41.2% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -55.4% (2017 est.)

Ease of Doing Business Index scores

Overall score: 54.4 (2020)

Starting a Business score: 79.6 (2020)

Trading score: 77 (2020)

Enforcement score: 58.6 (2020)

Agricultural products

sugar cane, milk, rice, maize, plantains, groundnuts, cassava, beans, coffee, poultry

Industries

food processing, chemicals, machinery and metal products, knit and woven apparel, petroleum refining and distribution, beverages, footwear, wood, electric wire harness manufacturing, mining

Industrial production growth rate

3.5% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 88

Labor force

3.046 million (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 103

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 31%

industry: 18%

services: 50% (2011 est.)

Unemployment rate

6.4% (2017 est.)

6.2% (2016 est.)

note: underemployment was 46.5% in 2008

country comparison to the world: 101

Population below poverty line

24.9% (2016 est.)

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

46.2 (2014 est.)

45.8 (2009)

country comparison to the world: 23

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 1.8%

highest 10%: 47.1% (2014)

Budget

revenues: 3.871 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 4.15 billion (2017 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

28% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 97

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 106

Public debt

33.3% of GDP (2017 est.)

31.2% of GDP (2016 est.)

note: official data; data cover general government debt and include debt instruments issued (or owned) by Government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities, as well as intragovernmental debt; intragovernmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as retirement, medical care, and unemployment, debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions; Nicaragua rebased its GDP figures in 2012, which reduced the figures for debt as a percentage of GDP

country comparison to the world: 157

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$694 million (2017 est.)

-$989 million (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 131

Exports

$3.819 billion (2017 est.)

$3.772 billion (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 127

Exports - partners

United States 60%, El Salvador 5%, Mexico 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

clothing and apparel, gold, insulated wiring, coffee, beef (2019)

Imports

$6.613 billion (2017 est.)

$6.384 billion (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 126

Imports - partners

United States 27%, Mexico 12%, China 11%, Guatemala 9%, Costa Rica 7%, El Salvador 6%, Honduras 6% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, clothing and apparel, crude petroleum, packaged medicines, insulated wiring (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$2.758 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$2.448 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 113

Debt - external

$11.674 billion (2019 est.)

$11.771 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 109

Exchange rates

cordobas (NIO) per US dollar -

30.11 (2017 est.)

28.678 (2016 est.)

28.678 (2015 est.)

27.257 (2014 est.)

26.01 (2013 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding Nicaragua 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 Nicaragua 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Nicaragua 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.