Country Listing

Ecuador Table of Contents



Gross Domestic Product (GDP): US$9.4 billion in 1989, or US$940 per capita. Substantial economic growth in 1970s following discovery of new petroleum fields in Oriente and international price increases for petroleum. Increased external debt, lowered petroleum prices, devastation from floods and earthquake, and economic mismanagement combined to produced serious economic problems during 1980s. GDP declined by 5.2 percent in 1987, increased by 8 percent in 1988, and grew by only 1 percent in 1989.

Agriculture: Including livestock raising, forestry, and fishing, almost 18 percent of GDP in 1987. Sector employed about 35 percent of nation's workforce in 1987.

Natural Resources and Energy: Petroleum and mining accounted for 8 percent of GDP in 1987. Nation had 1.6 million barrels of proven oil reserves, vast majority of which found in Oriente. Abundant natural gas reserves in Oriente and in Gulf of Guayaquil.

Industry: About 17 percent of GDP in 1987. Food processing and textile manufacturing most important components of industry sector. Nearly 10 percent of labor force employed in industry in 1987. Vast majority of firms had fewer than five workers.

Services: Accounted for nearly 50 percent of GDP and 24 percent of labor force in 1987. Wholesale and retail trade, financial services, and transportation and communications most important segments.

Imports: Totalled almost US$2.1 billion in 1987. Imports consisted primarily of raw materials and capital goods for industry, foods and lubricants, transportation equipment, durable consumers goods, and non-durable consumer goods. Major suppliers of imports were United States, Japan, the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany), and Brazil.

Exports: Totalled US$2.3 billion in 1989. Petroleum generated half of all export revenues; other major exports included shrimp, bananas, coffee, and cacao. Over 60 percent of exports in 1987 destined for United States.

Balance of Payments: Chronic current-account deficits during late 1980s, although deficit reduced from nearly US$1.2 billion in 1987 to US$500 million in 1989. External debt reached US$11.3 billion in 1989.

Exchange Rate: Sucre (S/) pegged to United States dollar during 1980s but devalued numerous times during 1980s. Official rate averaged S/526=US$1 in 1989.

Fiscal Year: Calendar Year.

Fiscal Policy: Upon assuming presidency in 1988, Rodrigo Borja Cevallos (1988- ) inherited a rapidly deteriorating economy characterized by growing fiscal deficit, rapid monetary expansion, capital flight, and excessive government spending. Borja implemented economic austerity measures that included sharp currency devaluation, tax increases, import restrictions, government spending reductions, and substantial increases in fuel prices and electricity rates.

Data as of 1989