Economy overview: In Paraguay, the market economy is combined with a significant informal sector. The components of the shadow sector are the re-export of consumer goods to neighboring countries and the activities of thousands of tiny businesses and street vendors. Due to the size of the informal sector, it is difficult to apply the right economic measures. A large proportion of the population lives off agriculture, often subsistence. The official economy grew at an average rate of about 3% annually during 1995-97, but GDP fell slightly in 1998 and 1999. Per capita real income compared to the 1980s. did not increase. Most observers attribute economic weakness to political uncertainty, corruption, insufficient progress on structural reforms, significant domestic and foreign debt, and underdeveloped infrastructure.
GDP: at purchasing power parity – $26.2 billion (2000 est.).
Real GDP growth rate: 1% (2000 est.).
GDP per capita: Purchasing power parity – $4,750 (2000 est.).
The composition of GDP by sectors of the economy: agriculture: 28%; industry: 21%; services: 51% (1999 est.).
Proportion of population below the poverty line: 36% (2000 est.).
Percentage distribution of family income or consumption: 10% of the poorest families account for: 0.7%; 10% of the wealthiest families account for: 46.6% (1995).
Inflation rate at consumer prices: 8% (2000 est.).
Labor force: 2 million people (2000 est.).
Employment structure: agriculture 45%.
Unemployment rate: 16% (2000 est.).
Budget: revenues: $1.3 billion; expenditures: $2 billion, including capital expenditures of $700 million (1999 est.).
Spheres of economy: sugar, cement, textile industry, beverage production, timber industry.
Growth in industrial production: 0% (2000 est.).
Electricity generation: 51.554 billion kWh (1999)
Sources of electricity generation: fossil fuels: 0.07%; hydropower: 99.79%; nuclear fuel: 0%; others: 0.15% (1999).
Electricity consumption: 1.915 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity export: 46.03 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity import: 0 kWh (1999).
Agricultural products: cotton, sugarcane, soybeans, corn, wheat, tobacco, cassava (tapioca), fruits, vegetables; beef, pork, egg, milk; wood.
Exports: $3.5 billion (free on board, 2000 est.)
Exports: electricity, soybeans, feed, cotton, meat, edible oils.
Export partners: Brazil, Argentina, EU.
Imports: $3.3 billion (free on board, 2000 est.)
Imports: road transport, consumer goods, tobacco, petroleum products, electrical equipment.
Import partners: Brazil, USA, Argentina, Uruguay, EU, Hong Kong.
External debt: $3 billion (2000 est.). Recipient of economic assistance: no data.
Economic aid donor:
Currency code: PYG.
Exchange rate: PYG / USD – 3,570.0 (January 2001), 3,486.4 (2000), 3,119.1 (1999), 2,726.5 (1998), 2,177.9 (1997), 2,056.8 (1996); note – since the beginning of 1998, a policy of controlled exchange rate fluctuations has been implemented, before that the exchange rate was determined by the free market.
Fiscal year: calendar year.
Telecommunications Telephone lines: 290 475 (2001).
Mobile cell phones: 510,000 (2001).
Telephone system: insufficiently developed telephone service; the main switching center is in Asuncion; domestic: reasonably good microwave radio relay network; international: satellite earth station 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean).
Broadcast stations: AM -46, FM -27, shortwave – 6 (three are inactive) (1998).
Radio receivers: 925,000 (1997).
Television broadcast stations: 4 (2001).
TVs: 990,000 (2001).
Internet Country Code: py
Internet Service Providers: 4 (2000).
Number of users: 20,000 (2000).
Transport Railways: total: 971 km; with standard gauge: 441 km (1.435 m gauge); narrow gauge: 60 km (1,000 m gauge); note: also 470 km of privately owned mixed gauge roads.
Roads: total: 25,901 km; coated: 3,067 km; unpaved: 22,834 km (2001)
Waterways: 3,100 km.
Ports and harbours: Asuncion, Villeta, San Anto-nio, Encarnacion.
Merchant fleet: total: 20 vessels (displacement 1,000 tons or more) with a total displacement of 31,066 gross register tons / 35,441 long tons of gross tonnage; different types of ships: cargo ships – 14, chemical tankers – 1, oil tankers – 3, ferries for the transport of loaded vehicles – 2 (2000 est.).
Airports: 915 (2000 est.).
Airports with paved runways: total: 11; over 3,047 m: 3; from 1,524 to 2,437 m: 4; 914 to 1523 m: 4 (2000 est.).
Airports with unpaved runways: total: 904; from 1524 to 2437 m: 29; from 914 to 1,523 m: 340; less than 914 m: 535 (2000 est.).
Branches of the armed forces: army, navy (includes naval aviation and marines), air force. See militarynous.com to know more about Paraguay Military.
Enlistment age: 17 years old.
Total military manpower: men 15 to 49 pets: 1,388,436 (2001 est.).
Eligible for military service: males aged 15 to 49: 1,001,516 (2001 est.).
Number of persons reaching military age each year: male: 58,359 (2001 est.).
Military spending in dollar terms: $125 million (1998)
Military spending as part of GDP: 1.4% (1998).
International issues International disputes: no.
Illicit Drugs: Illicit production of cannabis, most or all of which is consumed in South America; transit point for cocaine from Bolivia, Peru and Colombia, destined for the markets of the “southern cone” (southern South America) and Europe.