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Costa Rica GDP

Costa Rica GDP

Economic Growth in Costa Rica

The Costa Rican economy recorded an average growth rate of 3.1% in the decade to 2022, above the 1.9% average for Central America and Caribbean. In 2022, real GDP growth was 4.6%. For more GDP information, visit our dedicated page.

Costa Rica GDP Chart

Note: This chart displays Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %) for Costa Rica from 2014 to 2023.
Source: Central Bank of Costa Rica.

Costa Rica GDP Data

2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Economic Growth (GDP, ann. var. %) 2.6 2.4 -4.3 7.9 4.6
GDP (USD bn) 62.3 64.3 62.3 64.8 69.1
GDP (CRC bn) 36,015 37,832 36,495 40,327 44,810
Economic Growth (Nominal GDP, ann. var. %) 4.9 5.0 -3.5 10.5 11.1

GDP growth softens in Q4

GDP growth waned to 5.1% year on year in the fourth quarter, from 5.5% in the third quarter. Q4's reading marked the worst reading since Q1. On a seasonally adjusted quarter-on-quarter basis, GDP growth accelerated to 1.8% in Q4 from 1.3% in Q3. Over 2023 as a whole, the economy grew 5.1%, up from the 4.6% expansion tallied in 2022.

Household spending increased 6.1% in the fourth quarter, which was below the third quarter's 6.5% expansion. The slight moderation came amid a softer decline in consumer prices. Meanwhile, government spending dropped at the sharpest pace since Q3 2022, contracting 0.4% (Q3: +0.7% yoy). Additionally, fixed investment contracted 0.5% in Q4, marking the worst reading since Q3 2022 (Q3: +17.7% yoy). On the external front, exports of goods and services growth improved to 7.4% in Q4 (Q3: +5.7% yoy) as growth in both merchandise exports and tourist arrivals strengthened in the quarter. Conversely, imports of goods and services growth slowed to 2.8% in Q4 (Q3: +6.1% yoy).

After a stellar 2023, the economy is projected to gradually lose steam throughout this year. A marked slowdown in exports growth amid softer external demand, coupled with softer expansions in both private spending and investment, will drag on growth. A potential deterioration of the country’s security situation dampening investor sentiment and a weaker-than-expected U.S. economy are downside risks.

Analysts at the EIU commented on risks to the outlook: “The biggest risk here for 2024-25 is that the surge in violent crime in 2023 causes potential investors to reassess the quality of Costa Rica's business environment. The country benefits from its reputation of relative safety and reliability in an otherwise violent region, but this comparative advantage risks being eroded.”

Consensus Forecasts and Projections for the next ten years

How should you choose a forecaster if some are too optimistic while others are too pessimistic? FocusEconomics collects Costa Rican GDP projections for the next ten years from a panel of 24 analysts at the leading national, regional and global forecast institutions. These projections are then validated by our in-house team of economists and data analysts and averaged to provide one Consensus Forecast you can rely on for each indicator. By averaging all forecasts, upside and downside forecasting errors tend to cancel each other out, leading to the most reliable GDP forecast available for Costa Rican GDP.

Download one of our sample reports to visualize what a Consensus Forecast is and see our Costa Rican GDP projections.

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