Nicaragua Economic Forecast

Nicaragua Economic Outlook

December 7, 2017

The economy remains in good shape. Despite slowing from August, growth in economic activity was robust in September thanks to expansions in the fishing and agriculture sectors. In addition, real wage growth was solid in the year through September, and the tourism sector had an encouraging Q3, with visitors’ average length of stay rising by 15.3% year-on-year. The expansionary 2018 budget—presented to parliament in October—aims to shore up growth and has a marked focus on social spending, especially for health and education. The government is banking on improved revenue collection to finance it. On the political front, on 5 November, municipal elections resulted in a resounding victory for Daniel Ortega’s Sandinista National Liberation Front.

Nicaragua Economic Growth

Growth should remain strong next year thanks to healthy investment and private consumption growth. Risks are mainly tilted to the downside due to financial difficulties at the Social Security Institute, reduced financing from Venezuela and the possible passage of the NICA Act in the United States. Analysts expect GDP to grow 4.4% in 2018, up 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 4.4% again in 2019.

Nicaragua Economy Data

Population (million)
GDP per capita (USD)1,7131,7771,9042,0962,150
GDP (USD bn)10.410.911.812.713.2
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)
Consumption (annual variation in %)
Investment (annual variation in %)-0.10.3-0.822.34.9
Unemployment Rate5.  
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-0.1-0.7-1.2-1.6-2.0
Money (annual variation in %)17.619.613.019.110.5
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)
Benchmark Interest Rate (%)12.0014.9812.2311.5711.15
Exchange Rate (vs USD)23.8525.1126.1027.9029.30
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)23.5324.4725.7226.5928.26
Current Account (% of GDP)-10.6-11.0-7.6-9.0-8.6
Current Account Balance (USD bn)-1.1-1.2-0.9-1.1-1.1
Trade Balance (USD billion)-3.2-3.3-3.3-3.5-3.7
Exports (USD billion)
Imports (USD billion)
Exports (annual variation in %)17.4-11.18.3-9.3-8.1
Imports (annual variation in %)13.5-
International Reserves (USD)
External Debt (% of GDP)86.189.786.682.582.9

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Nicaragua Facts

Exchange Rate30.662.11 %Dec 06

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