The Economy of Haiti

The Economy of Haiti

Haitian Economy

Economy - overview: Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with 80% of the population living under the poverty line and 54% in abject poverty. Two-thirds of all Haitians depend on the agricultural sector, mainly small-scale subsistence farming, and remain vulnerable to damage from frequent natural disasters, exacerbated by the country's widespread deforestation. While the economy has recovered in recent years, registering positive growth since 2005, four tropical storms in 2008 severely damaged the transportation infrastructure and agricultural sector. US economic engagement under the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement (HOPE) Act, passed in December 2006, has boosted apparel exports and investment by providing tariff-free access to the US. HOPE II, passed in October 2008, has further improved the export environment for the apparel sector by extending preferences to 2018; the apparel sector accounts for two-thirds of Haitian exports and nearly one-tenth of GDP. Remittances are the primary source of foreign exchange, equaling nearly a quarter of GDP and more than twice the earnings from exports. Haiti suffers from high inflation, a lack of investment because of insecurity and limited infrastructure, and a severe trade deficit. In 2005, Haiti paid its arrears to the World Bank, paving the way for reengagement with the Bank. Haiti is expected to receive debt forgiveness for about $525 million of its debt through the Highly-Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) initiative by mid-2009. The government relies on formal international economic assistance for fiscal sustainability.


GDP - real growth rate: 2.3% (2008 est.) 3.2% (2007 est.) 2.3% (2006 est.)

GDP - per capita:

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 28% industry: 20% services: 52% (2004 est.)

Population below poverty line:

Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 0.7% highest 10%: 47.7% (2001)

Distribution of family income - Gini index: 59.2 (2001)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

Labor force: 3.6 million note: shortage of skilled labor, unskilled labor abundant (1995)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 66% industry: 9% services: 25% (1995)

Unemployment rate: widespread unemployment and underemployment; more than two-thirds of the labor force do not have formal jobs (2002 est.)

Budget: revenues: $820.6 million expenditures: $965.2 million (2008 est.)

Industries: sugar refining, flour milling, textiles, cement, light assembly based on imported parts

Industrial production growth rate: 1.2% (2008 est.)

Electricity - production: 549 million kWh (2006 est.)

Electricity - production by source:

Electricity - consumption: 330 million kWh (2006 est.)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2007 est.)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2007 est.)

Oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2007 est.)

Oil - consumption: 12,370 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2005)

Oil - imports: 11,980 bbl/day (2005)

Oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)

Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)

Agriculture - products: coffee, mangoes, sugarcane, rice, corn, sorghum; wood

Exports: $491 million f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Exports - commodities: apparel, manufactures, oils, cocoa, mangoes, coffee

Exports - partners: US 72.9%, Dominican Republic 8.8%, Canada 3.3% (2007)

Imports: $2.095 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Imports - commodities: food, manufactured goods, machinery and transport equipment, fuels, raw materials

Imports - partners: US 41.2%, Netherlands Antilles 14.9%, China 4.7%, Brazil 4.4% (2007)

Debt - external: $1.463 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Economic aid - recipient:


Currency code:

Exchange rates: gourdes (HTG) per US dollar - 39.216 (2008 est.), 37.138 (2007), 40.232 (2006), 40.449 (2005), 38.352 (2004)

Fiscal year:

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