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Geography

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Government

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The Pacific coast of Nicaragua was settled as a Spanish colony from Panama in the early 16th century. Independence from Spain was declared in 1821 and the country became an independent republic in 1838. Britain occupied the Caribbean Coast in the first half of the 19th century, but gradually ceded control of the region in subsequent decades. Violent opposition to governmental manipulation and corruption spread to all classes by 1978 and resulted in a short-lived civil war that brought the Marxist Sandinista guerrillas to power in 1979. Nicaraguan aid to leftist rebels in El Salvador caused the US to sponsor anti-Sandinista contra guerrillas through much of the 1980s. After losing free and fair elections in 1990, 1996, and 2001, former Sandinista President Daniel ORTEGA Saavedra was elected president in 2006 and reelected in 2011. The 2008 municipal elections, 2010 regional elections, and November 2011 presidential elections were marred by widespread irregularities. Nicaragua's infrastructure and economy - hard hit by the earlier civil war and by Hurricane Mitch in 1998 - are slowly being rebuilt, but democratic institutions have been weakened under the ORTEGA administration.


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Economy

Economy - overview
Nicaragua, the poorest country in Central America and the second poorest in the Hemisphere, has widespread underemployment and poverty. The US-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) has been in effect since April 2006 and has expanded export opportunities for many agricultural and manufactured goods. Textiles and apparel account for nearly 60% of Nicaragua's exports, but increases in the minimum wage during the ORTEGA administration will likely erode its comparative advantage in this industry. ORTEGA's promotion of mixed business initiatives, owned by the Nicaraguan and Venezuelan state oil firms, together with the weak rule of law, could undermine the investment climate for domestic and international private firms in the near-term. Nicaragua relies on international economic assistance to meet internal- and external-debt financing obligations. Foreign donors have curtailed this funding, however, in response to November 2008 electoral fraud. In early 2004, Nicaragua secured some $4.5 billion in foreign debt reduction under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative. Managua still struggles with a high public debt burden, however, it succeeded in reducing that burden substantially in 2011. The economy grew at a rate of about 4% in 2011.

Gdp (purchasing power parity) World Ranking: 130
$19.12 billion (2011 est.)
$18.27 billion (2010 est.)
$17.49 billion (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp (official exchange rate)
$7.297 billion (2011 est.)

Gdp - real growth rate World Ranking: 77
4.7% (2011 est.)
4.5% (2010 est.)
-1.5% (2009 est.)

Gdp - per capita (ppp) World Ranking: 170
$3,200 (2011 est.)
$3,100 (2010 est.)
$3,000 (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp - composition by sector
Agriculture 17.4%
Industry 25.7%
Services 56.8% (2011 est.)

Labor force World Ranking: 104
2.885 million (2011 est.)

Labor force - by occupation
Agriculture 28%
Industry 19%
Services 53% (2010 est.)

Unemployment rate World Ranking: 83
7.3% (2011 est.)
7.8% (2010 est.)
Note
Underemployment was 46.5% in 2008

Population below poverty line
46.2% (2005)

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10% 1.4%
Highest 10% 41.8% (2005)

Distribution of family income - gini index World Ranking: 58
40.5 (2010)
60.3 (1998)

Investment (gross fixed) World Ranking: 17
30.9% of GDP (2011 est.)

Budget
Revenues $1.409 billion
Expenditures $1.648 billion (2011 est.)

Taxes and other revenues World Ranking: 169
19.3% of GDP (2011 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) World Ranking: 108
-3.3% of GDP (2011 est.)

Public debt World Ranking: 32
70.5% of GDP (2011 est.)
78.5% of GDP (2010 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices) World Ranking: 172
8.1% (2011 est.)
5.5% (2010 est.)

Central bank discount rate
3% (31 December 2010 est.)
NA% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate World Ranking: 59
10.54% (31 December 2011 est.)
13.32% (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of narrow money World Ranking: 143
$1.189 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$1.229 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of broad money World Ranking: 139
$3.136 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$2.924 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of domestic credit World Ranking: 119
$4.102 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$4.074 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares
$NA

Agriculture - products
Coffee, bananas, sugarcane, cotton, rice, corn, tobacco, sesame, soya, beans; beef, veal, pork, poultry, dairy products; shrimp, lobsters

Industries
Food processing, chemicals, machinery and metal products, knit and woven apparel, petroleum refining and distribution, beverages, footwear, wood

Industrial production growth rate World Ranking: 131
1.5% (2010 est.)

Electricity - production World Ranking: 122
3.419 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - consumption World Ranking: 132
2.646 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - exports
0 kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - imports
2 million kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - production World Ranking: 112
377.4 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - consumption World Ranking: 114
30,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - exports World Ranking: 119
742.1 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - imports World Ranking: 100
30,290 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - proved reserves World Ranking: 173
0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural gas - production World Ranking: 107
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - consumption World Ranking: 115
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - exports World Ranking: 154
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - imports World Ranking: 103
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves World Ranking: 110
0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current account balance World Ranking: 151
-$2.449 billion (2011 est.)
-$1.636 billion (2010 est.)

Exports World Ranking: 123
$3.967 billion (2011 est.)
$3.157 billion (2010 est.)

Exports - commodities
Coffee, beef, shrimp and lobster, tobacco, sugar, gold, peanuts; cigars, automobile wiring harnesses, textiles and apparel

Exports - partners
US 60.2%, Canada 8.3%, El Salvador 4.6% (2011)

Imports World Ranking: 115
$6.466 billion (2011 est.)
$4.792 billion (2010 est.)

Imports - commodities
Consumer goods, machinery and equipment, raw materials, petroleum products

Imports - partners
US 22%, Venezuela 14.5%, Costa Rica 9%, China 8.8%, Guatemala 8.3%, Mexico 7.2%, El Salvador 5.6%, South Korea 4.1% (2011)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold World Ranking: 121
$1.892 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$1.799 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Debt - external World Ranking: 126
$4.073 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$4.787 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Exchange rates
Cordobas (NIO) per US dollar -
22.424 (2011 est.)
21.356 (2010 est.)
20.34 (2009)
19.374 (2008)
18.457 (2007)

Fiscal year
Calendar year


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  Nicaragua (Managua):


  GPS points from Nicaragua (Managua)

El Zapote Departamento De Boaco

Canas Gordas Departamento De Chontales

Escamacita Departamento De Rivas

Bena Blanca Departamento De Rivas

El Cianuro Region Autonoma Atlantico Norte

San Jose Chinandega

Rio Grande Atlantico Sur

Las Marias Departamento De Carazo




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