Guatemala flag Guatemala: Visió econòmica i política

El context econòmic de Guatemala

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.

Guatemala GDP grew by 3.4% in 2022, mainly driven by net exports and remittances from the U.S., which were powered both by the country's economic growth and falling unemployment among the Guatemalan population in the United States. Remittances represent around 30% of household income, and their boost should continue to support household consumption, which accounts for 85% of GDP. Furthermre, according to the IMF, GDP growth rates are expected to remain somewhat stable in the next couple of years, with an estimated growth of 3.2% in 2023 and 3.8% in 2024. Guatemala's economy receives strong financial support from the U.S. and multilateral lenders; is bolstered by free trade agreements with the U.S. and the E.U.; enjoys a privileged proximity to Mexico and the U.S.; and is recognised as a country with high potential in multiple sectors (tourism, agriculture, mining, hydroelectric and geothermal energy).

Guatemala's public deficit closed at -2.5% of GDP in 2022, and is projected to stay stable in 2023 (-2.4%) and 2024 (-2.2%). Public debt reached 30.1% of GDP in 2022 and should also remain relatively unchanged in 2023 (30%) and 2024 (29.7%). Inflation increased to 6.4% in 2022 and should decrease to 5.6% in 2023 and 4.3% in 2024. The return of inflation rates to the middle of the government's target window should continue to support consumption in 2023, allowing the central bank to maintain its expansionary policy and facilitating the growth of credit to the private sector, in keeping with the current administration's pro-business agenda. Nevertheless, Guatemala's challenges are numerous: social and political instability, poor infrastructure, corruption, vulnerability to external factors (natural disasters and commodity prices), reliance on low value-added industries and remittances, low fiscal revenues, and a range of social issues that include rural poverty, inequalities, underemployment, informality, and ethnic divisions. The absence of a redistributive fiscal policy also hinders attempts to reduce inequality. Although the pandemic has significantly impacted the Guatemalan economy, the country has been recovering, with the government implementing measures to counteract the economic crisis resulting from it.

The unemployment rate in Guatemala reached an estimated 4% in 2022, nearly double the rate of 2019, mainly due to the impacts of the pandemic - particularly in the construction sector, services, and transport. In addition, the country's informal sector grew 60% according to Guatemala's Labor and Social Security Minister. Furthermore, more than half of the population live below the poverty line. The country also has one of the highest rates of malnutrition in the world, one quarter of its adults are illiterate, there is a high level of income inequality, and there is a high rate of organised crime and drug trafficking related violence.

 
Main Indicators 202020212022 (E)2023 (E)2024 (E)
GDP (billions USD) 77.6386.9993.66102.31111.02
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change) -1.88.04.03.43.5
GDP per Capita (USD) 4,3194,7435,0055,3585,698
General Government Balance (in % of GDP) -4.2-1.8-2.5-2.3-2.1
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 31.530.430.128.628.1
Inflation Rate (%) 3.24.36.97.45.5
Current Account (billions USD) 3.832.181.731.941.75
Current Account (in % of GDP) 4.92.51.81.91.6

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database, October 2021

Main Sectors of Industry

Guatemala doesn't have many natural resources, but the country still has some reserves of petroleum, land for agriculture, and some small mineral deposits. Main industries in Guatemala include production of coffee; production of textiles, paper industries, petroleum, pharmaceutical products, and rubber processing; and tourism. The country - which has a small mining industry - extracts copper, zinc, iron and nickel - also has strong geothermic and hydroelectric potential. The agricultural sector accounts for 9.4% of GDP and employs 31.3% of the active population. Besides coffee, Guatemalan agriculture involves sugar, bananas, cotton, rubber, cardamom and a variety of precious woods and fruits. In recent years, farm communities - mostly indigenous - have been displaced by land inequality, low plantation wages, and due to food insecurity in the palm oil industry. The agricultural sector grew in 2022, as it benefit from high commodities prices, including palm oil, rubber, and coffee.

The industry sector accounts for 22.2% of GDP and 18.7% of employment. More than half of the economic activity in Guatemala occurs within four sectors: manufacturing, commerce, private service, and agriculture. The industry is primarily focused on producing the following products: textiles, furniture, petroleum, sugar, processed foods, and chemicals. In 2022, the industry sector recorded a good performance, particularly in construction, as the sector remained extremely busy due to heightened public investment in infrastructure and increased investment in the sector as a whole.

The service sector represents the largest share of GDP (62.1%) and employs 50% of the population. Key sectors include tourism, health care, customer service, financial services, banking institutions, hospitality, communications, and retail. Tourism is one of the country’s most important sectors, bringing in billions of dollars every year. However, the sector suffered enormously in the last couple of years due to the pandemic. Still, the tourism sector experienced a significant growth in 2022, - with the entry of tourists in the country growing by 72% in January 2022 in relation to the same month in 2021 - a path which it is set to continue on in the coming years.

 
Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment) 31.3 18.7 50.0
Value Added (in % of GDP) 9.4 22.2 62.1
Value Added (Annual % Change) 3.5 8.5 8.1

Source: World Bank, Latest Available Data. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 

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Indicator of Economic Freedom

Definition:

The Economic freedom index measure ten components of economic freedom, grouped into four broad categories or pillars of economic freedom: Rule of Law (property rights, freedom from corruption); Limited Government (fiscal freedom, government spending); Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labour freedom, monetary freedom); and Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom). Each of the freedoms within these four broad categories is individually scored on a scale of 0 to 100. A country’s overall economic freedom score is a simple average of its scores on the 10 individual freedoms.}}

Score:
64/100
World Rank:
75
Regional Rank:
15

Economic freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Index of Economic Freedom, Heritage Foundation

 
 

Country Risk

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Actualitzacions: September 2023

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