Costa Rica Economic Forecast

Costa Rica Economic Outlook

October 11, 2017

The economy has performed well in recent months, despite the government’s continued fiscal difficulties. Recently-released data showed that growth in Q2 was driven by a strong external sector, which more than offset a sluggish domestic sector. Q3 likely displayed similar dynamics as Q2: Exports grew strongly in both July and August although a drop in consumer confidence in August—partly due to more pessimistic expectations regarding future family incomes and interest rates—does not bode well for the domestic sector. On 3 October, Moody’s downgraded the state-owned Bank of Costa Rica’s credit rating from Ba2 to Ba3 as a result of mounting corporate governance concerns following the “Cementazo” political scandal in which the commercial bank lent money under irregular conditions. On 5 October, Tropical Storm Nate left devastation in its wake after striking Costa Rica. The extent of the economic damage from this will become clearer in the coming days and weeks.

Costa Rica Economy Data

Population (million)
GDP per capita (USD)9,73111,44911,33811,85011,737
GDP (USD bn)45.349.249.552.652.7
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)
Consumption (annual variation in %)
Investment (annual variation in %)11.4-
Unemployment Rate7.
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-4.4-5.4-5.7-5.9-  
Public Debt (% of GDP)34.235.838.311.8-  
Money (annual variation in %)18.211.911.613.97.3
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)
Inflation (PPI, annual variation in %)
Benchmark Interest Rate (%)9.206.507.205.954.45
Exchange Rate (vs USD)512.6500.7511.8537.3553.2
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)503.1501.0537.2534.6544.0
Current Account (% of GDP)-5.3-4.9-5.0-4.5-3.6
Current Account Balance (USD bn)-2.4-2.4-2.5-2.4-1.9
Trade Balance (USD billion)-6.2-6.4-6.4-5.9-5.4
Exports (USD billion)
Imports (USD billion)14.915.115.615.115.3
Exports (annual variation in %)7.7-
Imports (annual variation in %)
International Reserves (USD)
External Debt (% of GDP)34.039.844.045.448.9

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Costa Rica Facts

Exchange Rate575.4-0.16 %Oct 13

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Costa Rica Economic Growth

October 11, 2017

The government’s fiscal difficulties, marked by high debt levels and persistent fiscal deficits, burdens the outlook for the Costa Rican economy, as does the relatively high unemployment rate. However, a strong external sector should continue to prop up the economy, with key export markets such as the U.S. performing strongly. The Met the why particular Consensus Forecast panel sees GDP expanding 3.9% this year. In 2018, it again foresees a 3.9% expansion, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month’s projection.

Costa Rica Economic News

  • Costa Rica: GDP growth picks up in Q2

    September 29, 2017

    The economy picked up steam in Q2, as a good performance in the external sector outweighed poorer domestic dynamics.

    Read more

  • Costa Rica: Growth in economic activity decelerates in July

    September 11, 2017

    Growth in economic activity in Costa Rica decreased slightly from a revised 4.6% in June (previously reported: 4.2% year-on-year) to 4.4% in July in annual terms, according to the monthly index of economic activity (IMAE, Indice Mensual de Actividad Económica) published by the Central Bank of Costa Rica (BCCR).

    Read more

  • Costa Rica: Inflation eases again in August

    September 8, 2017

    Consumer prices decreased 0.22% in August on a monthly basis, the first monthly decrease in prices since March and contrasting the previous month’s 0.32% rise.

    Read more

  • Costa Rica: Inflation continues to ease in August

    September 7, 2017

    In August, consumer prices decreased 0.22% month-on-month, contrasting July’s 0.32% increase and representing the first monthly decrease in consumer prices since March.

    Read more

  • Costa Rica: Economic activity inches up in June

    August 11, 2017

    Economic activity inched up from a revised 4.1% in May (previously reported: 3.9% year-on-year) to 4.2% in June in annual terms, according to the monthly index of economic activity (IMAE, Indice Mensual de Actividad Económica) published by the Central Bank of Costa Rica (BCCR).

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