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Haiti: Economy#

Haiti's economy suffered a severe setback in January 2010 when a 7.0 magnitude earthquake destroyed much of its capital city, Port-au-Prince, and neighboring areas. Currently the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with 80% of the population living under the poverty line and 54% in abject poverty, the earthquake further inflicted $7.8 billion in damage and caused the country's GDP to contract. In 2011, GDP growth rose to 5.5% as the Haitian economy began recovering from the earthquake. However, growth slowed in 2015 to 2% as political uncertainty, drought conditions, and the depreciation of the national currency took a toll on investment and economic growth.

Haiti is a free market economy with low labor costs and tariff-free access to the US for many of its exports. Two-fifths of all Haitians depend on the agricultural sector, mainly small-scale subsistence farming, which remains vulnerable to damage from frequent natural disasters, exacerbated by the country's widespread deforestation. Poverty, corruption, vulnerability to natural disasters, and low levels of education for much of the population are among Haiti's most serious impediments to economic growth. Remittances are the primary source of foreign exchange, in 2015 equaling over one-fifth of GDP, and nearly double the combined value of Haitian exports and foreign direct investment.

US economic engagement under the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA) and the 2008 Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement Act (HOPE II) helped increase apparel exports and investment by providing duty-free access to the US. The Haiti Economic Lift Program (HELP) Act of 2010 extended the CBTPA and HOPE II until 2020, while the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 extended trade benefits provided to Haiti in the HOPE and HELP Acts through September 2025. Apparel sector exports in 2015 reached $904 million and account for about 90% of Haitian exports and more than 10% of the GDP.

Investment in Haiti is hampered by the difficulty of doing business and weak infrastructure, including access to electricity. Haiti's outstanding external debt was cancelled by donor countries following the 2010 earthquake, but has since risen to nearly $2 billion as of December 2015, the majority of which is owed to Venezuela under the PetroCaribe program. Although the government has increased its revenue collection, it continues to rely on formal international economic assistance for fiscal sustainability, with over 20% of its annual budget coming from foreign aid or direct budget support.

Economic Facts#

GDP (purchasing power parity)$19.36 billion (2016 est.)
$19.07 billion (2015 est.)
$18.85 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$8.259 billion (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate1.5% (2016 est.)
1.2% (2015 est.)
2.8% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$1,800 (2016 est.)
$1,800 (2015 est.)
$1,800 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving29.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
29.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
24.7% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 97.1%
government consumption: 0%
investment in fixed capital: 32%
investment in inventories: -5.3%
exports of goods and services: 14.9%
imports of goods and services: -44%

note: figure for household consumption also includes government consumption (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of originagriculture: 21.5%
industry: 20.3%
services: 58.2% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productscoffee, mangoes, cocoa, sugarcane, rice, corn, sorghum; wood, vetiver
Industriestextiles, sugar refining, flour milling, cement, light assembly using imported parts
Industrial production growth rate0.5% (2016 est.)
Labor force4.594 million
note: shortage of skilled labor, unskilled labor abundant (2014 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 38.1%
industry: 11.5%
services: 50.4% (2010)
Unemployment rate40.6% (2010 est.)
note: widespread unemployment and underemployment; more than two-thirds of the labor force do not have formal jobs
Population below poverty line58.5% (2012 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 0.7%
highest 10%: 47.7% (2001)
Distribution of family income - Gini index60.8 (2012)
59.2 (2001)
Budgetrevenues: $1.563 billion
expenditures: $1.819 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues18.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-3.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt26.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
26.6% of GDP (2014 est.)
Fiscal year1 October - 30 September
Inflation rate (consumer prices)12.4% (2016 est.)
9% (2015 est.)
Commercial bank prime lending rate12.9% (31 December 2016 est.)
12.9% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$988.3 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.073 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$3.818 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$3.793 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$2.61 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.404 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
Current account balance$35 million (2016 est.)
-$219 million (2015 est.)
Exports$933.2 million (2016 est.)
$1.029 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesapparel, manufactures, oils, cocoa, mangoes, coffee
Exports - partnersUS 85.3% (2015)
Imports$3.149 billion (2016 est.)
$3.445 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesfood, manufactured goods, machinery and transport equipment, fuels, raw materials
Imports - partnersDominican Republic 35.3%, US 24.5%, Netherlands Antilles 9.4%, China 9.4% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$1.936 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.919 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external$2.022 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.969 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$1.384 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.269 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesgourdes (HTG) per US dollar -
63.16 (2016 est.)
50.71 (2015 est.)
50.71 (2014 est.)
45.22 (2013 est.)
41.95 (2012 est.)