View the information below regarding the economy of Haiti. The summary and statistics contains
gdp, industry, agriculture and more for Haiti. If you need other information please visit the
Haiti Country Page.
GDP (FY 2002): $3.5 billion.
Real GDP growth rate (FY 2002): -0.9%.
Per capita GNP (FY 2002): $425.
GDP by sector (2002): Agriculture--27%; industry--14%; services--52%; indirect and import taxes--7%.
Inflation (2002 CPI yearly): 14.8%.
Natural resources: Bauxite, copper, calcium carbonate, gold, marble. Agriculture (27% of GDP): Products--coffee, mangoes, sugarcane, rice, corn, cacao, sorghum, pulses, other fruits and vegetables.
Industry (15.5% of GDP): Types--apparel, handicrafts, electronics assembly, food processing, beverages, tobacco products, furniture, printing, chemicals, steel.
Services (52% of GDP): Commerce, government, tourism.
Trade (2002): Total exports f.o.b.--$248 million: apparel, mangoes, leather and raw hides, seafood, electrical. Major market--U.S. ($244 million). Imports--$870 million c.i.f. From U.S. $674 million--grains, soybean oil, motor vehicles, machinery, meat, vegetables, plastics, petroleum.
Note: There are serious problems with national accounts in Haiti, including incomplete coverage and the questionable accuracy of raw data.
Economy of Haiti
Haiti remains the least-developed country in the Western Hemisphere and one of the poorest in the world. Comparative social and economic indicators show Haiti falling behind other low-income developing countries (particularly in the hemisphere) since the 1980s. Haiti now ranks 150th of 175 countries in the UN’s Human Development Index. Haiti's economic stagnation is the result of earlier inappropriate economic policies, political instability, a shortage of good arable land, environmental deterioration, continued reliance on traditional technologies, under-capitalization and lack of public investment in human resources, migration of large portions of the skilled population, a weak national savings rate, and the lack of a functioning judicial system.
The 1991 coup and the irresponsible economic and financial policies of the de facto regime resulted in a sharp economic decline from 1991-94. Following the coup, the United States adopted mandatory sanctions, and the OAS instituted voluntary sanctions aimed at restoring constitutional government. International sanctions culminated in the May 1994 UN embargo of all goods entering Haiti except humanitarian supplies, such as food and medicine. The assembly sector, heavily dependent on U.S. markets, employed nearly 80,000 workers in the mid-1980s. During the embargo, employment fell below 17,000. Private domestic and foreign investment has returned to Haiti slowly. Since the embargo’s end, assembly sector employment has gradually recovered to about 30,000, but further growth has been stalled by investor concerns over safety and political instability.
Under President Préval (1996-2001), the country's economic agenda included trade/tariff liberalization, measures to control government expenditure and increase tax revenues, civil service downsizing, financial sector reform, and the modernization of two out of nine state-owned enterprises through their sale to private investors, the provision of private sector management contracts, or joint public-private investment. Structural adjustment agreements with international financial institutions (IFIs) intended to create conditions for private sector growth proved only partly successful, however.
Haiti's real GDP growth turned negative in FY 2001 after six years of growth. Real GDP fell by 1.1% in FY 2001 and 0.9% in FY 2002. Macroeconomic stability was adversely affected by political uncertainty, the collapse of informal banking cooperatives, high budget deficits, low investment, and reduced international capital flows, including suspension of IFI lending as Haiti fell into arrears with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and World Bank. Haiti’s economy stabilized in 2003. Although FY 2003 began with the rapid decline of the gourde due to rumors that U.S. dollar deposit accounts would be nationalized and the withdrawal of fuel subsidies, the government successfully stabilized the gourde as it took the politically difficult decisions to float fuel prices freely according to world market prices and to raise interest rates. Government agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on a staff monitored program (SMP), followed by its payment of its $32 million arrears to the IDB in July, paved the way for renewed IDB lending. The IDB disbursed $35 million of a $50 million policy-based loan in July and began disbursing four previously approved project loans totalling $146 million. The IDB, IMF, and World Bank also discussed new lending with the government. Much of this would be contingent on government adherence to fiscal and monetary targets and policy reforms, such as those begun under the SMP, and Haiti’s payment of its World Bank arrears ($30 million at 9/30/03). The IMF estimates real GDP was flat in FY 2003 and projects 1% real GDP growth for FY 2004. However, GDP per capita-- $425 in FY 2002-- will continue to decline as population growth is estimated at 1.3% p.a. While implementation of governance reforms and peaceful resolution of the political stalemate are key to long-term growth, external support remains critical in avoiding economic collapse. The major element is foreign remittances, reported as $931 million in 2002, primarily from the U.S. Foreign assistance, meanwhile, was $130 million in FY 2002. Overall foreign assistance levels have declined since FY 1995, the year elected government was restored to power under a UN mandate, when over $600 million in aid was provided by the international community.
Workers in Haiti are guaranteed the right of association. Unionization is protected by the labor code. A legal minimum wage of 70 gourdes a day (about U.S. $1.70) applies to most workers in the formal sector.