Costa Rica Economic Forecast

Costa Rica Economic Outlook

September 14, 2021

After GDP contracted at a softer pace in Q1, leading indicators point to a continued recovery in Q2. Economic activity improved through April–June, although this was partly due to a low base effect as the corresponding period in 2020 saw a sharp pandemic-induced contraction in activity. Moreover, a lower unemployment rate in the quarter likely bolstered spending, while faster growth on average in both merchandise imports and exports suggests improving demand dynamics in the period. Meanwhile, after receiving a sizable vaccine donation from the U.S. in mid-July, the country’s inoculation efforts have advanced at a rapid pace: In just over a month, the amount of people with at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose went from nearly 35% in mid-July to around 60% in early September. Moreover, authorities further eased restrictions on the services sector and personal mobility from 1 September.

Costa Rica Economic Growth

A broad-based rebound in activity should help the economy bounce back to growth in 2021. A tighter labor market should support household spending, while the external sector will likely benefit from easing restrictions. Nevertheless, risks to the outlook persist due to lingering uncertainty over the evolution of the pandemic and the spread of new Covid-19 variants. FocusEconomics panelists see GDP expanding 3.9% in 2021, which is up 0.6 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 3.3% in 2022.

Costa Rica Economy Data

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Population (million)4.94.95.05.05.1
GDP per capita (USD)11,29211,65911,76912,05412,171
GDP (USD bn)54.857.258.460.561.8
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)3.64.23.92.72.1
Consumption (annual variation in %)4.23.63.51.72.2
Investment (annual variation in %)3.04.8-2.53.0-6.4
Unemployment Rate9.69.59.312.012.4
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-5.7-5.2-6.1-5.8-7.0
Public Debt (% of GDP)41.045.148.453.258.5
Money (annual variation in %)6.12.1-1.0-0.46.2
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)-0.80.82.62.01.5
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)0.80.01.62.22.1
Inflation (PPI, annual variation in %)-  -  -  -  -  
Benchmark Interest Rate (%)5.954.455.956.005.75
Exchange Rate (vs USD)537.3553.2571.4604.5571.0
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)534.6544.0567.9577.2586.9
Current Account (% of GDP)-3.5-2.2-3.4-3.3-2.5
Current Account Balance (USD bn)-1.9-1.3-2.0-2.0-1.5
Trade Balance (USD billion)-5.5-5.3-5.3-5.3-4.7
Exports (USD billion)9.29.910.611.311.5
Imports (USD billion)14.715.215.916.616.1
Exports (annual variation in %)0.77.96.96.11.8
Imports (annual variation in %)-5.23.34.44.2-2.8
International Reserves (USD)7.87.67.17.58.9
External Debt (% of GDP)43.144.746.447.949.7

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Costa Rica Facts

Value Change Date
Exchange Rate571.0-0.57 %Jan 01

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