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Ecuador
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Economy

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 - $54.5 billion (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: -8% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $4,300 (1999 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%: 2.3%
highest 10%: 37.6% (1994)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 59.9% (1999 est.)

Labor force: 4.2 million

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 30%, industry 25%, services 45% (1999 est.)

Unemployment rate: 12% with widespread underemployment (November 1998 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: 9.657 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 27.96%
hydro: 72.04%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 8.981 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: bananas, coffee, cocoa, rice, potatoes, manioc (tapioca), plantains, sugarcane; cattle, sheep, pigs, beef, pork, dairy products; balsa wood; fish, shrimp

Exports: $4.1 billion (f.o.b., 1999)

Exports - commodities: petroleum, bananas, shrimp, coffee, cocoa, cut flowers, fish

Exports - partners: US 39%, Colombia 7%, Italy 6%, Peru 5%, Chile 3% (1998)

Imports: $2.8 billion (c.i.f., 1999)

Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, raw materials, fuels; consumer goods

Imports - partners: US 39%, Colombia 11%, Japan 9%, Venezuela 5%, Mexico 3% (1998)

Debt - external: $15.3 billion (1999)

Economic aid - recipient: $695.7 million (1995)

Currency: 1 sucre (S/) = 100 centavos

Exchange rates: sucres (S/) per US$1 - 24,860.7 (January 2000), 11,786.8 (1999), 5,446.6 (1998), 3,988.3 (1997), 3,189.5 (1996), 2,564.5 (1995)

Fiscal year: calendar year



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