Guatemala Economic Forecast

Guatemala Economic Outlook

May 19, 2020

Covid-19 has drastically darkened the economic narrative in recent months. In April, remittances nosedived over the same month a year prior in tandem with skyrocketing unemployment in the U.S., where most remittances originate from. Contracting remittances, coupled with domestic containment measures, will weigh heavily on household consumption in the second quarter. This follows a first quarter in which the economy likely received a blow from the pandemic and worldwide restrictive measures adopted in March. However, data through February was relatively positive: Export growth accelerated notably in the period, while growth in the economic activity index was fairly robust. Government fiscal measures to mitigate the fallout now total around 3.4% of GDP, financed largely through new debt and World Bank and IADB loans, while authorities recently allowed some economic activities to resume.

Guatemala Economic Growth

GDP is forecast to shrink this year on the back of the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic, which will drag on tourism, trade and domestic activity. In addition, a shrinking U.S. economy will weigh on remittances and thus household spending in Guatemala. A recent uptick in coronavirus cases and domestic political fragmentation cloud the outlook. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists estimate the economy to contract 2.0% in 2020, which is down 1.4 percentage points from last month, and to expand 3.9% in 2021.

Guatemala Economy Data

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Population (million)16.316.616.917.317.6
GDP per capita (USD)3,8253,9824,2274,2224,309
GDP (USD bn)
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)
Consumption (annual variation in %)
Investment (annual variation in %)-1.5-
Industrial Production (annual variation in %)
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-1.5-1.1-1.4-1.9-2.3
Public Debt (% of GDP)24.224.323.924.2-  
Money (annual variation in %)
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)
Policy Interest Rate (%)
Exchange Rate (vs USD)7.637.527.357.737.71
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)7.667.607.357.527.70
Current Account (% of GDP)-  
Current Account Balance (USD bn)-  
Trade Balance (USD billion)-6.4-6.1-6.8-8.1-  
Exports (USD billion)  
Imports (USD billion)15.515.116.517.7-  
Exports (annual variation in %)-3.1-1.27.5-0.2-  
Imports (annual variation in %)-3.9-  
International Reserves (USD)
External Debt (% of GDP)32.832.532.130.7-  

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Guatemala Facts

Value Change Date
Exchange Rate7.710.22 %Jan 01

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