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Travel & Tourism . Tourist Guide to the Country

Ecuador Economy

Ecuador    Economy Top of Page
Economy - overview: Ecuador has substantial oil resources and rich agricultural areas. Because the country exports primary products such as oil, bananas, and shrimp, fluctuations in world market prices can have a substantial domestic impact. Ecuador joined the World Trade Organization in 1996, but has failed to comply with many of its accession commitments. In recent years, growth has been uneven due to ill-conceived fiscal stabilization measures. The aftermath of El Nino and depressed oil market of 1997-98 drove Ecuador's economy into a free-fall in 1999. The beginning of 1999 saw the banking sector collapse, which helped precipitate an unprecedented default on external loans later that year. Continued economic instability drove a 70% depreciation of the currency throughout 1999, which eventually forced a desperate government to "dollarize" the currency regime in 2000. The move stabilized the currency, but did not stave off the ouster of the government. The new president, Gustavo NOBOA has yet to complete negotiations for a long sought IMF accord. He will find it difficult to push through the reforms necessary to make "dollarization" work in the long run.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $37.2 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 0.8% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $2,900 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture:  14%

industry:  36%

services:  50% (1999 est.)
Population below poverty line: 50% (1999 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%:  2.2%

highest 10%:  33.8% (1995)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 96% (2000 est.)
Labor force: 4.2 million
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 30%, industry 25%, services 45% (1999 est.)
Unemployment rate: 13%; note - widespread underemployment (2000 est.)
Budget: revenues:  planned $5.1 billion (not including revenue from potential privatizations)

expenditures:  $5.1 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1999)
Industries: petroleum, food processing, textiles, metal work, paper products, wood products, chemicals, plastics, fishing, lumber
Industrial production growth rate: 2.4% (1997 est.)
Electricity - production: 10.065 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel:  29.51%

hydro:  70.49%

nuclear:  0%

other:  0% (1999)
Electricity - consumption: 9.386 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports: 25 million kWh (1999)
Agriculture - products: bananas, coffee, cocoa, rice, potatoes, manioc (tapioca), plantains, sugarcane; cattle, sheep, pigs, beef, pork, dairy products; balsa wood; fish, shrimp
Exports: $5.6 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Exports - commodities: petroleum, bananas, shrimp, coffee, cocoa, cut flowers, fish
Exports - partners: US 37%, Colombia 5%, Italy 5%, Chile 5%, Peru 4% (1999)
Imports: $3.4 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, raw materials, fuels; consumer goods
Imports - partners: US 30%, Colombia 13%, Venezuela 6%, Japan 5%, Venezuela 6%, Mexico 3% (1998)
Debt - external: $15 billion (1999)
Economic aid - recipient: $695.7 million (1995)
Currency: US dollar (USD)
Currency code: USD
Exchange rates: sucres per US dollar - 25,000 (January 2001), 24,988.4 (2000), 11,786.8 (1999), 5,446.6 (1998), 3,988.3 (1997), 3,189.5 (1996)

note:  on 7 January 2000, the government passed a decree "dollarizing" the economy; on 13 March 2000, the National Congress approved a new exchange system whereby the US dollar is adopted as the main legal tender in Ecuador for all purposes; on 20 March 2000, the Central Bank of Ecuador started to exchange sucres for US dollars at a fixed rate of 25,000 sucres per US dollar; since 30 April 2000, all transactions are denominated in US dollars
Fiscal year: calendar year


Countryfacts Information Courtesy: CIA Worldbook

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