Country Listing

Paraguay Table of Contents



Gross Domestic Product (GDP): Approximately US$3.4 billion in 1986, roughly US$1,000 per capita. Substantial growth recorded in late 1970s, followed by decline in early 1980s and some recovery in mid- to late 1980s.

Agriculture: About 23 percent of GDP in 1985; also accounted for approximately half of all employment and virtually all export earnings. In 1981 about 7 percent of land dedicated to crop production, 20 percent to forestry, 26 percent to livestock, and 47 percent to other purposes. Main crops--soybeans, cotton, tobacco, coffee, sugarcane, oilseeds, manioc (cassava), maize, beans, peanuts, and wheat. Highly skewed distribution of land.

Industry: About 23 percent of GDP in 1986, including manufacturing (over 16 percent of GDP) and construction (nearly 6 percent of GDP). Manufacturing generally small-scale and focused on consumer goods. Construction activity fluctuated dramatically during the mid- to late 1980s following several years of brisk growth.

Energy: Less than 3 percent of GDP in 1986, but tremendous hydroelectric growth potential. Expected to become world's largest exporter of electricity in 1990s.

Services: About 51 percent of GDP in 1986. Included financial services, transportation and communications, informal services, government services, and tourism.

Imports: Approximately US$898 million in 1986, over 40 percent of which unregistered. Imports mainly manufactured products, capital goods, and fuels.

Exports: Approximately US$371 million in 1986, almost 40 percent of which unregistered. Soybeans and cotton over 60 percent of exports.

Balance of Payments: Acute balance of payments situation in late 1980s, result of an increasing merchandise trade deficit and a decreased level of private capital investment. International reserves equalled less than four months of imports. From 1980 to 1987, indebtedness more than doubled, to roughly US$2 billion. Debt as a percentage of GDP climbed to above 50 percent.

Exchange Rate: Guaraní (G) pegged to United States dollar from 1960 to 1982 but devalued numerous times during the mid- to late 1980s. Five exchange rates in use in 1987, reduced to three in mid-1988. Free-market rate exceeded G1,000=US$1 by early 1989.

Fiscal Year: Calendar year.

Fiscal Policy: Substantial cutbacks in current and capital expenditures in mid-1980s resulted in 1986 budget deficit under 1 percent of GDP. In 1986 public-sector deficit reached 7 percent of GDP because of parastatals' poor financial performance and access to preferential exchange rates. Some rates eliminated in 1988.

Data as of December 1988