Costa Rica Economic Forecast

Costa Rica Economic Outlook

July 14, 2020

The economy will have contracted sharply in the Q2 due to lockdown restrictions introduced in March, after almost grinding to a halt in Q1. Economic activity plummeted in April and May according to Central Bank data. Moreover, merchandise exports fell in April–May by around 15% in annual terms, as global demand dried up. Meanwhile, although government spending was broadly stable in January–April compared to the same period last year, this was due to an increase in debt payments masking a drop in capital spending; revenue also slipped, resulting in a slightly higher fiscal deficit. More positively, the government has been relaxing coronavirus restrictions since 1 May, although the process is gradual and all activity will require social distancing. Moreover, the World Bank loaned USD 300 million to the government on 26 June.

Costa Rica Economic Growth

The economy will shrink this year as coronavirus containment measures hit activity. However, monetary policy stimulus should soften the blow. Moreover, the country’s accession to the OECD should provide a longer-term boost via its impact on investor sentiment. FocusEconomics panelists project GDP to contract 3.7% in 2020, which is down 0.3 percentage points from last month’s forecast, before growing 3.0% in 2021.

Costa Rica Economy Data

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Population (million)
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 %)
Consumption (annual variation in %)
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)
Money (annual variation in %)6.12.1-1.0-0.46.2
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)-
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)
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 %)
Imports (annual variation in %)-
International Reserves (USD)
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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