Costa Rica



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Costa Rica Economy 2008


Economy - overview: Costa Rica's basically stable economy depends on tourism, agriculture, and electronics exports. Poverty has remained around 20% for nearly 20 years, and the strong social safety net that had been put into place by the government has eroded due to increased financial constraints on government expenditures. Immigration from Nicaragua has increasingly become a concern for the government. The estimated 300,000-500,000 Nicaraguans estimated to be in Costa Rica legally and illegally are an important source of (mostly unskilled) labor, but also place heavy demands on the social welfare system. Foreign investors remain attracted by the country's political stability and high education levels, as well as the fiscal incentives offered in the free-trade zones. Exports have become more diversified in the past 10 years due to the growth of the high-tech manufacturing sector, which is dominated by the microprocessor industry. Tourism continues to bring in foreign exchange, as Costa Rica's impressive biodiversity makes it a key destination for ecotourism. The government continues to grapple with its large internal and external deficits and sizable internal debt. Reducing inflation remains a difficult problem because of rising import prices, labor market rigidities, and fiscal deficits. Tax and public expenditure reforms will be necessary to close the budget gap. In October 2007, a national referendum voted in favor of the US-Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).
GDP (purchasing power parity): $45.77 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $26.24 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 6.8% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $11,100 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 8.6% industry: 29.4% services: 62.1% (2007 est.)
Labor force: 1.92 million note: this official estimate excludes Nicaraguans living in Costa Rica (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 14% industry: 22% services: 64% (2006 est.)
Unemployment rate: 4.6% (2007 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 1% highest 10%: 37.4% (2003)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 49.8 (2003)
Investment (gross fixed): 21.6% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget: revenues: $3.976 billion expenditures: $3.808 billion (2007 est.)
Public debt: 46.6% of GDP (2007 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 9.4% (2007 est.)
Central bank discount rate: 17% (31 December 2007)
Commercial bank prime lending rate: 12.8% (31 December 2007)
Stock of money: $4.504 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of quasi money: $2.87 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of domestic credit: $12.91 billion (31 December 2007)
Agriculture - products: bananas, pineapples, coffee, melons, ornamental plants, sugar, corn, rice, beans, potatoes; beef; timber
Industries: microprocessors, food processing, medical equipment, textiles and clothing, construction materials, fertilizer, plastic products
Industrial production growth rate: 7.3% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production: 8.521 billion kWh (2006 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 7.779 billion kWh (2006 est.)
Electricity - exports: 39.55 million kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - imports: 203.2 million kWh (2007 est.)
Oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - consumption: 45,600 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil - exports: 2,115 bbl/day (2005)
Oil - imports: 43,110 bbl/day (2005)
Oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance: -$1.499 billion (2007 est.)
Exports: $9.268 billion (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities: bananas, pineapples, coffee, melons, ornamental plants, sugar; seafood; electronic components, medical equipment
Exports - partners: US 25.7%, China 14.1%, Netherlands 10.9%, UK 6.3%, Mexico 5% (2007)
Imports: $12.26 billion (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities: raw materials, consumer goods, capital equipment, petroleum, construction materials
Imports - partners: US 41%, Mexico 6.1%, Venezuela 5.7%, Japan 5.4%, China 5.1%, Brazil 4.3% (2007)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $4.114 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external: $7.416 billion (30 June 2007)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $8.53 billion (2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $490 million (2007 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $1.478 billion (2005)
Currency (code): Costa Rican colon (CRC)
Exchange rates: Costa Rican colones (CRC) per US dollar - 519.53 (2007), 511.3 (2006), 477.79 (2005), 437.91 (2004), 398.66 (2003)

NOTE: The economy information regarding Costa Rica on this page is re-published from the 2008 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Costa Rica Economy 2008 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Costa Rica Economy 2008 should be addressed to the CIA.