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Haiti Info: The Economy of Haiti


Economy - overview:

Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere with 80% of the population living under the poverty line and 54% in abject poverty. Two-thirds of all Haitians depend on the agricultural sector, mainly small-scale subsistence farming, and remain vulnerable to damage from frequent natural disasters, exacerbated by the country's widespread deforestation. While the economy has recovered in recent years, registering positive growth since 2005, four tropical storms in 2008 severely damaged the transportation infrastructure and agricultural sector. US economic engagement under the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement (HOPE) Act, passed in December 2006, has boosted apparel exports and investment by providing tariff-free access to the US. HOPE II, passed in October 2008, has further improved the export environment for the apparel sector by extending preferences to 2018; the apparel sector accounts for two-thirds of Haitian exports and nearly one-tenth of GDP. Remittances are the primary source of foreign exchange, equaling nearly a quarter of GDP and more than twice the earnings from exports. Haiti suffers from high inflation, a lack of investment because of insecurity and limited infrastructure, and a severe trade deficit. In 2005, Haiti paid its arrears to the World Bank, paving the way for reengagement with the Bank. Haiti is expected to receive debt forgiveness for about $525 million of its debt through the Highly-Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) initiative by mid-2009. The government relies on formal international economic assistance for fiscal sustainability.

GDP (purchasing power parity):


$11.53 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 145
$11.38 billion (2007 est.)
$11 billion (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):


$6.943 billion (2008 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:


1.3% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 168
3.4% (2007 est.)
2.3% (2006 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):


$1,300 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 203
$1,300 (2007 est.)
$1,300 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:


agriculture: 28%
industry: 20%
services: 52% (2004 est.)

Labor force:


3.643 million
country comparison to the world: 92
note: shortage of skilled labor, unskilled labor abundant (2007)

Labor force - by occupation:


agriculture: 66%
industry: 9%
services: 25% (1995)

Unemployment rate:


NA%
note: widespread unemployment and underemployment; more than two-thirds of the labor force do not have formal jobs

Population below poverty line:


80% (2003 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:


lowest 10%: 0.7%
highest 10%: 47.7% (2001)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:


59.2 (2001)
country comparison to the world: 8

Investment (gross fixed):


28.9% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 26

Budget:


revenues: $967.5 million
expenditures: $1.162 billion (2008 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):


15.5% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 194
8.5% (2007 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:


17.81% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 2
46.99% (31 December 2007)

Stock of money:


$NA (31 December 2008)
$704.7 million (31 December 2007)

Stock of quasi money:


$NA (31 December 2008)
$1.561 billion (31 December 2007)

Stock of domestic credit:


$NA (31 December 2008)
$1.537 billion (31 December 2007)


Agriculture - products:


coffee, mangoes, sugarcane, rice, corn, sorghum; wood

Industries:


sugar refining, flour milling, textiles, cement, light assembly based on imported parts

Industrial production growth rate:


0% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 133

Electricity - production:


448 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 161

Electricity - consumption:


273 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 169

Electricity - exports:


0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:


0 kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:


0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 189

Oil - consumption:


12,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 145

Oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 196

Oil - imports:


12,280 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 135

Oil - proved reserves:


0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 163

Natural gas - production:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 99

Natural gas - consumption:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 174

Natural gas - exports:


0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 69

Natural gas - imports:


0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 170

Natural gas - proved reserves:


0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 171

Current account balance:


-$611 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 108
-$407 million (2007 est.)

Exports:


$490 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 163
$522 million (2007 est.)

Exports - commodities:


apparel, manufactures, oils, cocoa, mangoes, coffee

Exports - partners:


US 70.7%, Dominican Republic 8.9%, Canada 3.1% (2008)

Imports:


$2.107 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 147
$1.618 billion (2007 est.)

Imports - commodities:


food, manufactured goods, machinery and transport equipment, fuels, raw materials

Imports - partners:


US 34%, Dominican Republic 23.1%, Netherlands Antilles 10.6%, China 4.5% (2008)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:


$708 million (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 134
$555 million (31 December 2007 est.)

Debt - external:


$1.817 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 138
$1.475 billion (31 December 2007 est.)

Exchange rates:


gourdes (HTG) per US dollar - 39.216 (2008 est.), 37.138 (2007), 40.232 (2006), 40.449 (2005), 38.352 (2004)

(Source: CIA)

 
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