Republic of Honduras


Honduras is one of the poorest countries in the Americas, with GDP per capita at US$2050 per year (1999). Under the presidency of Ricardo Maduro the economy has continued to grow slowly but the distribution of wealth remains very polarized with average wages remaining very low. Economic growth is roughly 5% a year, but many people remain below the poverty line. It is estimated that there are more than 1.2 million people who are unemployed.

The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund classified Honduras as one of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries eligible for debt relief, and this debt relief was given in 2005.

Both the electricity services (ENEE) and land line telephone services (Hondutel) are run by government monopolies, with the former receiving heavy subsidies from the government because of its chronic financial problems. There are price controls around the price of petrol, and other temporary price controls of basic commodities are often passed for short periods by the Congress.

After years of declining against the US dollar the Lempira has stabilized at around 19 Lempiras per dollar.

Economy - overview:  
Honduras, one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere with an extraordinarily unequal distribution of income and massive unemployment, is banking on expanded trade under the U.S.-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and on debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative. The country has met most of its macroeconomic targets, and began a three-year IMF Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PGRF) program in February 2004. Growth remains dependent on the economy of the US, its largest trading partner, on commodity prices, particularly coffee, and on reduction of the high crime rate.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$20.56 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$8.038 billion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
4% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $2,900 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:  
agriculture: 12.7%
industry: 31.2%
services: 56.1% (2005 est.)
Labor force:
2.54 million (2005 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:  
agriculture 34%, industry 21%, services 45% (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate:
28% (2005 est.)
Population below poverty line:  
53% (1993 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:  
lowest 10%: 0.6%
highest 10%: 42.7% (1998)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:  
55 (1999)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
9.2% (2005 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
27% of GDP (2005 est.)
revenues: $1.693 billion
expenditures: $1.938 billion, including capital expenditures of $106 million (2005 est.)
Public debt:
70.5% of GDP (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products:  
bananas, coffee, citrus; beef; timber; shrimp
sugar, coffee, textiles, clothing, wood products
Industrial production growth rate:
7.7% (2003 est.)
Electricity - production:
4.338 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - consumption:
4.369 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports:  
0 kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports:  
335 million kWh (2003)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - consumption:
37,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA (2001)
Current account balance:
$-456 million (2005 est.)
$1.726 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Exports - partners:  
US 54.4%, El Salvador 8.1%, Germany 5.9%, Guatemala 5.4% (2004)
$4.161 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Imports - partners:  
US 37.5%, Guatemala 6.9%, Mexico 5.4%, Costa Rica 4.3%, El Salvador 4% (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$2.23 billion (2005 est.)
Debt - external:
$4.675 billion (2005 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:  
$557.8 million (1999)
Currency (code):  
lempira (HNL)
Exchange rates:  
lempiras per US dollar - 18.92 (2005), 18.206 (2004), 17.345 (2003), 16.433 (2002), 15.474 (2001)
Fiscal year:  
calendar year



Republic of Honduras

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