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Costa Rica:
Economy

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Economy - overview
Definition
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)
Definition - World rank and map
$45.77 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)
Definition
$26.24 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate
Definition - World rank and map
6.8% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita
Definition - World rank and map
$10,300 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector
Definition
agriculture: 8.6%
industry: 29.4%
services: 62.1% (2007 est.)
Labor force
Definition
1.92 million
note: this official estimate excludes Nicaraguans living in Costa Rica (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation
Definition
agriculture: 14%
industry: 22%
services: 64% (2006 est.)
Unemployment rate
Definition - World rank and map
4.6% (2007 est.)
Population below poverty line
Definition
16% (2006 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
Definition
lowest 10%: 1%
highest 10%: 37.4% (2003)
Distribution of family income - Gini index
Definition - World rank and map
49.8 (2003)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
Definition - World rank and map
9.4% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed)
Definition - World rank and map
21.6% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget
Definition
revenues: $3.976 billion
expenditures: $3.808 billion (2007 est.)
Public debt
Definition - World rank and map
46.6% of GDP (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products
Definition
bananas, pineapples, coffee, melons, ornamental plants, sugar, corn, rice, beans, potatoes; beef; timber
Industries
Definition
microprocessors, food processing, medical equipment, textiles and clothing, construction materials, fertilizer, plastic products
Industrial production growth rate
Definition - World rank and map
7.3% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production
Definition - World rank and map
8.349 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - consumption
Definition - World rank and map
7.776 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - consumption per capita
Definition - World rank and map
1,853.3 kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports
Definition
70 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports
Definition
81 million kWh (2005)
Oil - production
Definition - World rank and map
0 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - consumption
Definition - World rank and map
43,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption per 1,000 people
Definition - World rank and map
10.2 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - exports
Definition - World rank and map
2,998 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports
Definition - World rank and map
43,640 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves
Definition - World rank and map
0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production
Definition - World rank and map
0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption
Definition - World rank and map
0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption per capita
Definition - World rank and map
0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports
Definition - World rank and map
0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports
Definition - World rank and map
0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves
Definition - World rank and map
0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance
Definition - World rank and map
-$1.519 billion (2007 est.)
Exports
Definition - World rank and map
$9.268 billion (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities
Definition
bananas, pineapples, coffee, melons, ornamental plants, sugar; seafood; electronic components, medical equipment
Exports - partners
Definition
US 24.9%, China 13.9%, Netherlands 10.6%, Mexico 6.4%, UK 5.8% (2006)
Imports
Definition - World rank and map
$12.26 billion (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities
Definition
raw materials, consumer goods, capital equipment, petroleum, construction materials
Imports - partners
Definition
US 40.1%, Venezuela 5.7%, Mexico 5.7%, Japan 5.3%, China 5.1%, Brazil 4.6% (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
Definition - World rank and map
$4.114 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external
Definition - World rank and map
$7.422 billion (30 June 2007)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home
Definition
$8.669 billion (2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad
Definition
$491 million (2007 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares
Definition
$1.478 billion (2005)
Economic aid - recipient
Definition
$29.51 million (2005)
Currency (code)
Definition
Costa Rican colon (CRC)
Exchange rates
Definition
Costa Rican colones per US dollar - 519.53 (2007), 511.3 (2006), 477.79 (2005), 437.91 (2004), 398.66 (2003)
Fiscal year
Definition
calendar year


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