About Guatemala and Key Financial Statistics

About Guatemala and Key Financial Statistics

Overview of Economy:

Guatemala is the most populous country in Central America with a GDP per capita roughly one-half that of the average for Latin America and the Caribbean. The agricultural sector accounts for 13.7% of GDP and 32% of the labor force; key agricultural exports include sugar, coffee, bananas, and vegetables. The 1996 peace accords, which ended 36 years of civil war, removed a major obstacle to foreign investment, and since then Guatemala has pursued important reforms and macroeconomic stabilization. The Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) entered into force in July 2006, spurring increased investment and diversification of exports, with the largest increases in ethanol and non-traditional agricultural exports. While CAFTA-DR has helped improve the investment climate, concerns over security, the lack of skilled workers, and poor infrastructure continue to hamper foreign direct investment. The distribution of income remains highly unequal with the richest 20% of the population accounting for more than 51% of Guatemala's overall consumption. More than half of the population is below the national poverty line, and 13% of the population lives in extreme poverty. Poverty among indigenous groups, which make up more than 40% of the population, averages 73%, with 22% of the indigenous population living in extreme poverty. Nearly one-half of Guatemala's children under age five are chronically malnourished, one of the highest malnutrition rates in the world. Guatemala is the top remittance recipient in Central America as a result of Guatemala's large expatriate community in the United States. These inflows are a primary source of foreign income, equivalent to one-half of the country's exports or one-tenth of its GDP. In November 2014 along with his counterparts from El Salvador and Honduras, President PEREZ MOLINA announced the “Plan of the Alliance for Prosperity in the Northern Triangle.” This plan seeks to address the challenges facing the three Northern Triangle countries, including steps the governments will take to stimulate economic growth, increase transparency and fiscal responsibility, reduce violence, modernize the justice system, improve infrastructure, and promote educational opportunities over the next several years.

Gross Domestic Product (In USD):

$119.8 billion (2014 est.)
$114.9 billion (2013 est.)
$110.8 billion (2012 est.)

Composition of Gross Domestic Product:

% Agricuture: 13.4

% Industry: 23.7

% Services: 62.4

Composition of Labor Force by Occupation:

% Agriculture:  38

% Industry: 14

% Services: 48

Per Capita Income:

$7,500 (2014 est.)
$7,200 (2013 est.)
$7,000 (2012 est.)


3.4% (2014 est.)
4.3% (2013 est.)

Key Export Commodities:

sugar, coffee, petroleum, apparel, bananas, fruits and vegetables, cardamom, manufacturing products, precious stones and metals, electricity

Export Partners:

US 36.1%, El Salvador 11.8%, Honduras 8.3%, Nicaragua 4.8%, Mexico 4.1% (2014)


$17.05 billion (2014 est.)
$16.36 billion (2013 est.)

Key Import Commodities:

fuels, machinery and transport equipment, construction materials, grain, fertilizers, electricity, mineral products, chemical products, plastic materials and products

Import Partners:

US 40.3%, Mexico 10.7%, China 9.8%, El Salvador 4.6% (2014)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Price Index):

3.4% (2014 est.)
4.3% (2013 est.)

Exchange Rate to USD:

quetzales (GTQ) per US dollar -
7.7322 (2014 est.)
7.7322 (2013 est.)
7.83 (2012 est.)
7.7854 (2011 est.)
8.0578 (2010 est.)

Unemployment Rate:

4.1% (2011 est.)
3.5% (2010 est.)

S&P Rating:

Standard & Poor's Ratings:

  • AAA: The best quality borrowers, reliable and stable
  • AA: Quality borrowers, a bit higher risk than AAA
  • A: Economic situation can affect finance
  • BBB: Medium class borrowers, which are satisfactory at the moment
  • BB: More prone to changes in the economy
  • B: Financial situation varies noticeably
  • CCC: An obligor rated currently vulnerable, and is dependent upon favorable business, financial, and economic conditions to meet its financial commitments.

Ref 2012-2014: CIA World Factbook, Wikipedia, PWC, EY, Standard & Poors ratings