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    Guatemala Economy 1998

      Economy - overview The agricultural sector accounts for one-fourth of GDP and two-thirds of exports and employs more than half of the labor force. Coffee, sugar, and bananas are the main products. Manufacturing and construction account for one-fifth of GDP. Since assuming office in January 1996, President ARZU has worked to implement a program of economic liberalization and political modernization. The signing of the Peace Accords in December 1996, which ended 36 years of civil war, removed a major obstacle to foreign investment. In 1997, Guatemala met its economic targets when GDP growth accelerated to 4.1% and inflation fell to 9%. The government also increased tax revenues - historically the lowest in Latin America - to 9% of GDP and created a new tax administration. It also successfully placed $150 million in dollar-denominated notes in the international markets. Debt service costs should decline in 1998. Remaining challenges for the administration in 1998 include completing a deal with the IMF and stabilizing monetary policy. Throughout 1997, the Central Bank maintained a tight money supply, helping to control inflation, but it also caused high interest rates and led to operating losses for the bank. Early in 1998, it relaxed its monetary policy in an effort to correct these problems, but increased pressure on the quetzal has prompted the bank to intervene to prop up its value.

      GDP purchasing power parity - $45.8 billion (1997 est.)

      GDP - real growth rate 4.1% (1997 est.)

      GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $4,000 (1997 est.)

      GDP - composition by sector
      agriculture: 24%
      industry: 21%
      services: 55% (1997 est.)

      Inflation rate - consumer price index 9% (1997 est.)

      Labor force
      total: 3.32 million (1997 est.)
      by occupation: agriculture 58%, services 14%, manufacturing 14%, commerce 7%, construction 4%, transport 2.6%, utilities 0.3%, mining 0.1% (1995)

      Unemployment rate 5.2% (1997 est.)

      revenues: $NA
      expenditures: $NA

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

      Industrial production growth rate 1.9% (1996)

      Electricity - capacity 766,000 kW (1995)

      Electricity - production 3.1 billion kWh (1995)

      Electricity - consumption per capita 282 kWh (1995)

      Agriculture - products sugarcane, corn, bananas, coffee, beans, cardamom; cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens

      total value: $2.9 billion (f.o.b., 1997 est.)
      commodities: coffee, sugar, bananas, cardamom, petroleum
      partners: US 37%, El Salvador 13%, Honduras 7%, Costa Rica 5%, Germany 5%

      total value: $3.3 billion (c.i.f., 1997 est.)
      commodities: fuel and petroleum products, machinery, grain, fertilizers, motor vehicles
      partners: US 44%, Mexico 10%, Venezuela 4.6%, Japan, Germany

      Debt - external $3.38 billion (1996 est.)

      Economic aid
      recipient: ODA, $274 million (1994)

      Currency 1 quetzal (Q) = 100 centavos

      Exchange rates free market quetzales (Q) per US$1 - 6.2580 (January 1998), 6.0653 (1997), 6.0495 (1996), 5.8103 (1995), 5.7512 (1994), 5.6354 (1993)

      Fiscal year calendar year

      NOTE: The information regarding Guatemala on this page is re-published from the 1998 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Guatemala Economy 1998 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Guatemala Economy 1998 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 21-Dec-01
    Copyright © 2001 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)