Costa Rica Economic Forecast

Costa Rica Economic Outlook

February 13, 2018

According to preliminary Central Bank data, the economy expanded 3.2% in 2017 compared to the previous year, a slowdown from 4.2% growth in 2016. Although hard economic data for the fourth quarter is still pending, indicators suggest Costa Rica saw an economic improvement following a weak third quarter. In December, economic activity expanded at the fastest rate in 11 months, according to the Central Bank’s monthly index. The expansion was driven by strong performances in the services and manufacturing sectors, although a weak construction sector held the economy back somewhat. On the political front, Costa Ricans took to the polls on 4 February, again leaving the Legislative Assembly politically fractured, while in the presidential race, the two leading candidates, Fabricio Alvarado Muñoz and Carlos Alvarado, progressed to a final round of voting on 1 April.

Costa Rica Economic Growth

The external sector should continue to support the economy this year thanks to the upbeat economies of key export markets such as the United States. However, a bloated fiscal deficit and high public debt will continue to weigh on economic prospects. This month, Met the why particular Consensus Forecast panelists see the economy expanding 3.6% in 2018, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s projection. In 2019, the panel also foresees a 3.6% economic expansion.

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 Rate570.1-0.57 %Feb 20

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Costa Rica Economic News

  • Costa Rica: Economic activity growth accelerates in December

    February 9, 2018

    In December, year-on-year growth in economic activity accelerated to the fastest pace in 11 months, increasing from a revised 3.2% in November (previously reported: +2.4% year-on-year) to 3.5%, according to the monthly index of economic activity (IMAE, Indice Mensual de Actividad Económica) published by the Central Bank of Costa Rica (BCCR). December’s result was underpinned by increased activity in the services and manufacturing sectors.

    Read more

  • Costa Rica: Inflation decelerates in January

    February 7, 2018

    In January, consumer prices increased 0.41% month-on-month, down slightly from December’s 0.47% increase.

    Read more

  • Costa Rica: Economic activity growth picks up in November

    January 11, 2018

    Annual growth in economic activity increased from a revised 2.2% in October (previously reported: +2.3% year-on-year) to 2.4% in November last year, according to the monthly index of economic activity (IMAE, Indice Mensual de Actividad Económica) published by the Central Bank of Costa Rica (BCCR). Although November’s annual growth rate was the highest in three months, it was low by historical standards.

    Read more

  • Costa Rica: Inflation accelerates in December

    January 8, 2018

    In December, consumer prices increased 0.47% month-on-month, up from November’s 0.16% increase.

    Read more

  • Costa Rica: GDP growth slows in Q3 on lower investment

    December 22, 2017

    The economy lost steam in Q3 as fixed investment contracted sharply amid higher interest rates and increased uncertainty.

    Read more

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