Costa Rica Economy

Is Costa Rica a rich country?

Since 2010, Costa Rica has enjoyed strong and stable economic growth - 3.8% in 2017. Exports of bananas, coffee, sugar, and beef are the backbone of its commodity exports. Various industrial and processed agricultural products have broadened exports in recent years, as have high value-added goods, including medical devices. Costa Rica's impressive biodiversity also makes it a key destination for ecotourism.

Foreign investors remain attracted by the country's political stability and relatively high education levels, as well as the incentives offered in the free-trade zones; Costa Rica has attracted one of the highest levels of foreign direct investment per capita in Latin America. The US-Central American-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR), which became effective for Costa Rica in 2009, helped increase foreign direct investment in key sectors of the economy, including insurance and telecommunication. However, poor infrastructure, high energy costs, a complex bureaucracy, weak investor protection, and uncertainty of contract enforcement impede greater investment.

Costa Rica’s economy also faces challenges due to a rising fiscal deficit, rising public debt, and relatively low levels of domestic revenue. Poverty has remained around 20-25% for nearly 20 years, and the government’s strong social safety net has eroded due to increased constraints on its expenditures. Costa Rica’s credit rating was downgraded from stable to negative in 2015 and again in 2017, upping pressure on lending rates - which could hurt small business, on the budget deficit - which could hurt infrastructure development, and on the rate of return on investment - which could soften foreign direct investment (FDI). Unlike the rest of Central America, Costa Rica is not highly dependent on remittances - which represented just 1 % of GDP in 2016, but instead relies on FDI - which accounted for 5.1% of GDP.

Costa Rica Economy Data

What is the GDP of Costa Rica?

Currency Name and Code Costa Rican colones (CRC)
GDP - Gross Domestic Product (PPP) $79,260,000,000 (USD)
GDP - official exchange rate $57,690,000,000 (USD)
GDP - real growth rate 4.3%
GDP Per Capita $16,100.00 (USD)
GDP by Sector- agriculture 5.5%
GDP by Sector- Industry 18.6%
GDP by Sector- services 75.9%
GDP - composition, by end use household consumption: 62.3%

government consumption: 16.9%

investment in fixed capital: 22.2%

investment in inventories: 0.5%

exports of goods and services: 29.6%

imports of goods and services: -31.5%
Population Below Poverty Line 24.8%
Inflation Rate 0.3%
Labor Force 2,295,000
Labor Force By Occupation- agriculture 14%
Labor Force By Occupation- industry 22%
Labor Force By Occupation- services 64%
Unemployment Rate 9.3%
Fiscal Year calendar year
Annual Budget $8,115,000,000 (USD)
Budget Surplus or Deficit - percent of GDP -5.5%
Public Debt (% of GDP) 62.3%
Taxes and other revenues - percent of GDP 14.1%
Major Industries medical equipment, food processing, textiles and clothing, construction materials, fertilizer, plastic products
Industrial Growth Rate 4%
Agriculture Products bananas, pineapples, coffee, melons, ornamental plants, sugar, corn, rice, beans, potatoes; beef, poultry, dairy; timber
Exchange Rate per US Dollar 543.4
Child Labor - % of children ages 5-14 5%
Child Labor - # of children ages 5-14 39,082
Commercial Bank Prime Lending Rate 14.5%

Labor Force by Occupation- As reported by Costa Rica

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