Economy in Paraguay

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Economy—overview: Paraguay has a market economy marked by a large informal sector. The informal sector features both reexport of imported consumer goods (electronics whiskeys perfumes cigarettes and office equipment) to neighboring countries as well as the activities of thousands of microenterprises and urban street vendors. The formal sector is largely oriented toward services. A large percentage of the population derive their living from agricultural activity often on a subsistence basis. The formal economy has grown an average of about 3% ver the past five years. However population has increased at about the same rate over the same period leaving per capita income nearly stagnant. The WASMOSY government has continued to pursue its economic reform agenda albeit with limited success because of in-fighting in the ruling party and resistance from the opposition. Paraguay's ongoing integration into Mercosur (the Southern Cone Common Market) offers potential for investment and growth. Their most common spoken languages are Spanish and Guaraní.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$21.9 billion (1997 est.)


GDP—real growth rate: 2.6% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$3 900 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:

agriculture: 29.9%

industry: 24.9%

services: 48.7% (1995)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 6.2% (1997)

Labor force:

total: 1.8 million (1995 est.)

by occupation: agriculture 45%

Unemployment rate: 8.2% (urban) (1996 est.)

Budget:

revenues: $1.25 billion

expenditures: $1.66 billion including capital expenditures of $357 million (1995 est.)

Industries: meat packing oilseed crushing milling brewing textiles other light consumer goods cement construction

Industrial production growth rate: 5.1% (1995)

Electricity—capacity: 6.533 million kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 40.05 billion kWh (1995)

note: exported about 36.96 billion kWh of electricity to Brazil

Electricity—consumption per capita: 577 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: cotton sugarcane soybeans corn wheat tobacco cassava (tapioca) fruits vegetables; beef pork eggs milk; timber

Exports:

total value: $1.1 billion (f.o.b. 1997 est.)

commodities: cotton soybeans timber vegetable oils meat products coffee tung oil

partners: Brazil 48% Netherlands 22% Argentina 9% US 4% Uruguay 3% Chile 2% (1997)

Imports:

total value: $2.5 billion (c.i.f. 1996 est.)

commodities: capital goods consumer goods foodstuffs raw materials fuels

partners: Brazil 29% US 22% Argentina 14% Hong Kong 9% (1995)

Debt—external: $1.3 billion (1996)

Economic aid:

recipient: ODA $38 million (1993)

Currency: 1 guarani (G) = 100 centimos

Exchange rates: guaranies (G) per US$—2 528.8 (January 1998) 2 191.0 (1997) 2 062.8 (1996) 1 970.4 (1995) 1 911.5 (1994) 1 744.3 (1993)

Fiscal year: calendar year

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