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Panorama econòmic

Economic indicators

For the latest updates on the key economic responses from governments to address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, please consult the IMF's policy tracking platform Policy Responses to COVID-19.

The Cuban economy is still affected by the embargo imposed by the United States. While Washington was expected to loosen its sanctions under President Joe Biden, his approach towards Cuba has been tougher than former administrations, as he further tightened the trade and travel restrictions that were put in place by Donald Trump. In 2021, the Cuban economy experienced a slow recovery from the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which led GDP to grow by an estimated 2.2% (Coface). The economy is expected to continue recovering in 2022, when GDP should grow 4.2%, boosted by the post-pandemic global economic recovery.

Cuba is not transparent with its public accounts. In 2021, public debt was an estimated 151.1% of Cuban GDP and it is expected to slightly decrease to 118.9% in 2022. At the beginning of 2021, the Cuban government implemented a currency and exchange rate unification, which should yield positive results in the long term. In the short term, though, the policy aggravated some economic issues in the country, most notably causing a huge increase in inflation, which reached an estimated 500% in 2021. However, the initial effects of currency unification have been fading, and the country's inflation rate is expected to decrease to 30% in 2022. The COVID-19 pandemic deeply affected the tourism sector and revenues collapsed. Although the sector showed some signs of recovery in 2021, tourism revenues still haven't gone back to what they were before the pandemic. Public spending, which is not very flexible given the large share of operating costs, is expected to increase with the rise in civil servants' salaries and a pension system. The CIA estimated that health, education and social assistance represent around 50% of the budget expenses. Despite the lack of reliable data, the government's willingness to continue to invest heavily in the economy suggests that the fiscal deficit should increase. The country's debt should therefore continue to grow. In 2021, the government continued implementing measures in response to the economic crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, which include financial aid for workers being treated for COVID-19, flexibility to debt payment and stimulus to electronic transactions, and deferrals of social security contribution payments. Overall, Cuba’s response to the pandemic has been one of the most effective in the Caribbean. However, the crisis hindered Cuba’s progress in eradicating poverty and food insecurity in the country.

Despite a low unemployment rate (2.2% in 2018, ILOSTAT. Latest available data), the living standards of the Cuban population today remain very low. It should be noted that while official unemployment rates are low, unofficial estimates are about double the official rate. Furthermore, the unemployment rate is expected to have increased in 2021, especially among the self-employed and those working in the tourism sector, due to the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, Cuba remains heavily dependent on food and energy imports, as it imports 80% of its food consumption. The country's situation is uncertain, as reforms are giving an increasingly significant role to private companies. This has led to pilfering, a robust black market, and brain drain.

Monetary indicators 20152016201720182019
Cuban Peso (CUP) - Average annual exchange rate for 1 EUR

Font: World Bank, 2015


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Actualitzacions: January 2023

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