The Economy of Nicaragua

Key Indicators

  2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
GDP $5.60B $6.25B $6.15B $6.38B $6.66B
Unemployment Rate 11.00% 10.50% 9.56% 9.50% 9.00%
Population 5.60M 5.67M 5.74M 5.82M 5.90M

Featured Economic Indicators [ View all 1100 Economic Indicators ]

Gross Domestic Product (Percent change) Gross Domestic Product (U.S. dollars)
Per Capita Gross Domestic Product  (U.S. dollars) GDP (Purchasing Power Parity) (Current international dollar)
Investment (Percent of GDP) Gross national savings (Percent of GDP)
Inflation average consumer prices (Index) Inflation average consumer prices (Percent change)
Inflation (Index) Inflation (Percent change)
Unemployment rate (Percent of total labor force) Labor Force (Persons)
Population (Persons) Government revenue (National currency)
Government revenue (Percent of GDP) Government expenditure (Percent of GDP)
Government net lending/borrowing (Percent of GDP) Government structural balance (Percent of potential GDP)
Government primary net lending/borrowing (Percent of GDP) Government net debt (Percent of GDP)
Government gross debt (Percent of GDP) Current account balance (U.S. dollars)
Current account balance (Percent of GDP)  

Economic Overview of Nicaragua

Nicaragua Map
Nicaragua has widespread underemployment and the third lowest per capita income in the Western Hemisphere. Distribution of income is one of the most unequal on the globe. While the country has progressed toward macroeconomic stability in the past few years, GDP annual growth has been far too low to meet the countrys needs, forcing the country to rely on international economic assistance to meet fiscal and debt financing obligations. Nicaragua qualified in early 2004 for some $4500000000 in foreign debt reduction under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative and in November 2006 obtained over $4500000000 in debt relief from the Inter-American Development Bank. In October 2005, Nicaragua ratified the US-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), which will provide an opportunity for Nicaragua to attract investment, create jobs, and deepen economic development. Energy shortages, however, are a serious bottleneck to growth.

Nation History

Nicaragua Map
The Pacific coast of Nicaragua was settled as a Spanish colony from Panama in the early 16th century. Independence from Spain was declared in 1821 and the country became an independent republic in 1838. Britain occupied the Caribbean Coast in the first half of the 19th century, but gradually ceded control of the region in subsequent decades. Violent opposition to governmental manipulation and corruption spread to all classes by 1978 and resulted in a short-lived civil war that brought the Marxist Sandinista guerrillas to power in 1979. Nicaraguan aid to leftist rebels in El Salvador caused the US to sponsor anti-Sandinista contra guerrillas through much of the 1980s. Free elections in 1990, 1996, and 2001, saw the Sandinistas defeated, but voting in 2006 announced the return of former Sandinista President Daniel ORTEGA Saavedra. Nicaraguas infrastructure and economy - hard hit by the earlier civil war and by Hurricane Mitch in 1998 - are slowly being rebuilt.

Source(s): CIA World Factbook