Country Listing

Uruguay Table of Contents


Balance of Payments

Uruguay's trade balance was positive and steadily improving during most of the 1980s. However, the current account balance remained negative until the mid-1980s because of the burden of debt service (see table 16, Appendix). In 1986, 1988, and 1989, the trade balance was large enough to make the current account balance positive. An exception to this pattern was 1987 because imports surged as the economy recovered from the recession. The capital account balance was positive for most of the 1980s because Uruguay continued to borrow from abroad to help cover its debt-service payments and because foreigners continued to deposit money in Uruguayan banks. Uruguay's reserves decreased during most years, but as of 1988 the nation still had substantial gold reserves--more than 80 tons. During the 1989 presidential campaign, at least one candidate proposed selling the gold reserves to pay off the foreign debt. Lacalle opposed such a plan, however.

Data as of December 1990