Country Listing

El Salvador Table of Contents

El Salvador


Gross Domestic Product (GDP): Approximately US$4.6 billion in 1986, or US$938 per capita. Growth extremely modest from 1983 through 1986, averaging about 1.5 percent annually.

Agriculture: Accounted for about 24 percent of GDP in 1986. Production of export commodities predominated. Coffee major crop, accounting for half of export earnings in 1987. Sugar and cotton other major exports. Agriculture adversely affected during 1980s by insurgent conflict, uneven implementation of agrarian reform, and inconsistent government policies.

Industry: Accounted for over 20 percent of GDP in 1986, with manufacturing accounting for most sectoral activity (17.4 percent of GDP). Also included construction (3.1 percent of GDP) and some mining (0.1 percent of GDP). Manufacturing concentrated in food processing, tobacco products, textiles, and clothing. Output declined seriously during 1980s as result of guerrilla sabotage (mainly attacks on electrical grid), capital flight, and labor unrest.

Services: Almost 50 percent of GDP in 1986. Services tended to follow prevailing trends in economy as a whole. Included transportation, commerce, insurance, health care, utilities, and other public services.

Currency: Colon, consisting of 100 centavos. Unified exchange rate of C5 to US$1 established in November 1986.

Imports: Approximately US$975 million in 1987. Raw materials accounted for over 50 percent of imports, followed by consumer goods (24 percent) and capital goods (23 percent).

Exports: Approximately US$591 million in 1987, representing decline of over 21 percent compared with 1986 figures, mostly because of drop in coffee prices. Agricultural commodities (coffee, sugar, and cotton) made up bulk of exports.

Balance of Payments: Overall positive balance maintained during late 1980s despite significant trade deficit. Major compensating factors large inflows of foreign aid--mostly from United States--and remittances from Salvadorans living abroad (again, mainly in United States).

Fiscal Year: Calendar year.

Fiscal Policy: Although government expenditures in mid1980s remained fairly stable relative to GDP, overall budget deficit reached 5.4 percent of GDP in 1986. Deficit financing accomplished primarily through Central Reserve Bank of El Salvador, although public enterprises and development programs relied heavily on foreign aid and international loans.

Data as of November 1988