The economy of Ecuador is the eighth largest in Latin America and the 69th largest in the world by total GDP. Ecuador’s Economy is based on the export of oil, bananas, shrimp, gold, other primary agricultural products and money transfers from Ecuadorian emigrants employed abroad. In 2017, remittances constituted 2.7% of country's GDP. The total trade amounted to 42% of the Ecuador’s GDP in 2017. The country is substantially dependent on its petroleum resources. In 2017, oil accounted for about one-third of public-sector revenue and 32% of export earnings. Ecuador is one of OPEC's smallest members and produced about 531,300 barrels per day of petroleum in 2017. It is the world's largest exporter of bananas ($3.38 billion in 2017) and a major exporter of shrimp ($3.06 billion in 2017). Exports of non-traditional products such as cut flowers ($846 million in 2017) and canned fish ($1.18 billion in 2017) have grown in recent years. In the past, Ecuador’s economy depended largely on primary industries like agriculture, petroleum, and aquaculture. As a result of shifts in global market trends and development of technology have led to the economic development of other sectors like textile, processed food, metallurgy and the service sectors. Between 2006 and 2014, GDP growth averaged 4.3%, driven by high oil prices and external financing. From 2015 until 2018 GDP growth averaged just 0.6%. Ecuador's president, Lenín Moreno, has launched a radical transformation of Ecuador’s economy since taking office in May 2017. The aim is to increase the private sector’s weight, in particular the oil industry. The International Monetary Fund approved an agreement with Ecuador in March 2019. This arrangement would provide support ($10 billion) for the Ecuadorian government’s economic policies over three years (2018-2021 Prosperity Plan).
|Economy of Ecuador|
World Trade Center Guayaquil
|Andean Community of Nations, WTO, Unasur, ALADI, Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, Mercosur(Associate)|
|GDP||$104.29 billion (PPP) (2017)|
|GDP rank||63rd (PPP, 2012 est.)|
|0.1% (2015), -1.6% (2016), |
3.0% (2017e), 2.2% (2018f) 
GDP per capita
GDP by sector
Services: 60.4% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line
|21.5% (December 2017 est.)|
|7.6 million (December 2016)|
Labor force by occupation
services: 55.5% (2017 est.)
|petroleum, food processing, textiles, wood products, chemicals|
|Exports||$19.3 billion (2017)|
|petroleum, bananas, cut flowers, shrimp, cacao, coffee, wood, fish|
Main export partners
| United States 31%|
Russia 4.7% (2017)
|Imports||$19.3 billion (2017)|
|industrial materials, fuels and lubricants, nondurable consumer goods|
Main import partners
| United States 19%|
Panama 4.4% (2017)
|$113.11 billion (December 31, 2012 est.)|
Gross external debt
|$20.03 billion (December 31, 2012 est.)|
|31.3% of GDP (December 31, 2017)|
|Revenues||$33.43 billion (2017 est.)|
|Expenses||$38.08 billion (2017 est.)|
|Economic aid||$209.5 million (2005)|
|$2.169 billion (2017)|
Deteriorating economic performance in 1997–98 culminated in a severe financial crisis in 1999. The crisis was precipitated by a number of external shocks, including the El Niño weather phenomenon in 1997, a sharp drop in global oil prices in 1997–98, and international emerging market instability in 1997–98. These factors highlighted the Government of Ecuador's unsustainable economic policy mix of large fiscal deficits and expansionary money policy and resulted in a 7.3% contraction of GDP, annual year-on-year inflation of 52.2%, and a 65% devaluation of the national currency in 1999.
On January 9, 2000, the administration of President Jamil Mahuad announced its intention to adopt the U.S. dollar as the official currency of Ecuador to address the ongoing economic crisis. Subsequent protest led to the 2000 Ecuadorean coup d'état which saw Mahuad's removal from office and the elevation of Vice President Gustavo Noboa to the presidency.
The Noboa government confirmed its commitment to convert to the dollar as the centerpiece of its economic recovery strategy, successfully completing the transition from sucres to dollars in 2001. Following the completion of a one-year stand-by program with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in December 2001, Ecuador successfully negotiated a new $205 million stand-by agreement with the IMF in March 2003.
Buoyed by higher oil prices, the Ecuadorian economy experienced a modest recovery in 2000–01, with GDP rising 2.3% in 2000 and 5.4% in 2001. GDP growth leveled off to 3.3% in 2002. Although final figures are not yet available, it is expected to fall further, to about 1.7%, for 2003. GDP growth is estimated to recover to over 4% in 2004, due largely to expanded oil exports. Inflation fell from an annual rate of 96.1% in 2000 to an annual rate of 37.7% in 2001; 12.6% for 2002. Despite recent gains, 40% of the population lives below the poverty line, more than double the rate five years ago.
The completion of the second Transandean Oil Pipeline (OCP in Spanish) in 2003 enabled Ecuador to expand oil exports. The OCP will double Ecuador's oil transport capacity.
The industrial sector has had enormous difficulty to emerge significantly. The industrial sector's main problem is the deficit of energy, which the current government has tackled with the improvement of performance on existing hydro plants, and the creation of new ones. Such projects included negotiation of the Coca-Codo hydroplant. Incentives of financing, tributary incentives, tariffs, and others will be implemented, that is intended to benefit areas of tourism, foods process, renewable and alternative energies, bioenergies, pharmaceutical and chemical products, biochemical and environmental biomedecine, services, automotive metallurgical industry, footwear, and automotive parts and pieces, among others. A 500 kV transmission line increases national grid strength and electricity trade with Peru and Colombia.
Ecuador's economy is the eighth largest in Latin America and experienced an average growth of 4.6% per year between 2000 and 2006. In January 2009, the Central Bank of Ecuador (BCE) put the 2010 growth forecast at 6.88%. GDP doubled between 1999 and 2007, reaching 65,490 million dollars according to BCE. Inflation rate up to January 2008 was located about 1.14%, the highest recorded in the last year, according to Government. The monthly unemployment rate remained at about 6 and 8 percent from December 2007 until September 2008, however, it went up to about 9 percent in October and dropped again in November 2008 to 8 percent. An estimated 9 million Ecuadorians have an economic occupation and about 1.01 million inhabitants are in unemployment condition. In 1998, 10% of the richest population had 42.5% of income, while 10% of the poor had only 0.6% of income. The rates of poverty were higher for populations of indigenous, afro-descendents, and rural sectors. During the same year, 7.6% of health spending went to the 20% of the poor, while 20% of the rich population received 38.1% of this expenditure. The extreme poverty rate has declined significantly between 1999 and 2010. In 2001 it was estimated at 40% of the population, while by 2011 the figure dropped to 17.4% of the total population. This is explained largely by emigration and economic stability achieved after adopting the U.S dollar as official means of transaction . Poverty rates were higher for indigenous peoples, Afro-descendants and rural areas, reaching 44% of the Native ancestry population.
Oil accounts for 40% of exports and contributes to maintaining a positive trade balance. Since the late '60s, the exploitation of oil increased production and reserves are estimated at 4.036 million barrels
The overall trade balance for August 2012 was a surplus of almost 390 million dollars for the first six months of 2012, a huge figure compared with that of 2007, which reached only $5.7 million; the surplus had risen by about 425 million compared to 2006. This circumstance was due to the fact that imports grew faster than exports. The oil trade balance positive had revenues of $3.295 million in 2008, while non-oil was negative amounting to 2.842 million dollars. The trade balance with the United States, Chile, the European Union, Bolivia, Peru, Brazil and Mexico is positive. The trade balance with Argentina, Colombia and Asia is negative.
In the agricultural sector, Ecuador is a major exporter of bananas (first place worldwide in production and export), flowers, and the eighth largest producer of cocoa. It is also significant in shrimp production, sugar cane, rice, cotton, corn, palm and coffee. The country's vast resources include large amounts of timber across the country, like eucalyptus and mangroves. Pines and cedars are planted in the region of the Sierra, walnuts and rosemary, and balsa wood, on Guayas River Basin.
The industry is concentrated mainly in Guayaquil, the largest industrial center, and in Quito, where in recent years the industry has grown considerably. This city is also the largest business center of the country. Industrial production is directed primarily to the domestic market. Despite this, there is limited export of products produced or processed industrially. These include canned foods, liquor, jewelry, furniture, and more. Minor industrial activity is also concentrated in Cuenca.
Ecuador has negotiated bilateral treaties with other countries, besides belonging to the Andean Community of Nations, and an associate member of Mercosur. It also belongs to the World Trade Organization (WTO), in addition to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Corporacion Andina de Fomento (CAF) and other multilateral agencies. In April 2007, Ecuador paid off its debt to the IMF thus ending an era of interventionism of the Agency in the country.  The public finance of Ecuador consists of the Central Bank of Ecuador (BCE), the National Development Bank (BNF), the State Bank, the National Finance Corporation, the Ecuadorian Housing Bank (BEV) and the Ecuadorian Educational Loans and Grants.
Between 2006 and 2009, the government increased spending on social welfare and education from 2.6% to 5.2% of its GDP. Starting in 2007, when its economy was surpassed by the economic crisis, Ecuador was subject to a number of economic policy reforms by the government that have helped steer the Ecuadorian economy to a sustained, substantial, and focused achievement of financial stability and consistent social policy. Such policies were expansionary fiscal policies, of access to housing finance, stimulus packs, and limiting the amount of money reserves banks could keep abroad. The Ecuadorian government has made huge investments in education and infrastructure throughout the nation, which have improved the lives of the poor.
On December 12, 2008 President Rafael Correa announced that Ecuador would not pay $30.6m in interest to lenders of a $510m loan, claiming that they were monsters. In addition it claimed that $3.8bn in foreign debt negotiated by previous administrations was illegitimate because it was authorized without executive decree. At the time of the announcement, the country had $5.65bn in cash reserves.
The following table shows the main economic indicators in 1980–2017. Inflation below 5 % is in green.
(in Bil. US$ PPP)
|GDP per capita
(in US$ PPP)
(in % of GDP)
|1980||26.1||3,246||4.9 %||13.0 %||n/a||n/a|
|1981||29.6||3,584||3.9 %||16.4 %||n/a||n/a|
|1982||31.8||3,746||1.2 %||16.3 %||n/a||n/a|
|1983||32.1||3,681||−2.8 %||48.4 %||n/a||n/a|
|1984||34.6||3,867||4.2 %||31.2 %||n/a||n/a|
|1985||37.3||4,058||4.4 %||28.0 %||n/a||n/a|
|1986||39.3||4,160||3.1 %||23.0 %||n/a||n/a|
|1987||37.9||3,911||−6.0 %||29.5 %||n/a||n/a|
|1988||43.3||4,359||10,5||58.2 %||7.0 %||n/a|
|1989||45.1||4,432||0.3 %||76.6 %||7.9 %||n/a|
|1990||48.2||4,625||3.0 %||48.5 %||6.1 %||n/a|
|1991||52.4||4,910||5.1 %||48.8 %||8.5 %||n/a|
|1992||55.5||5,088||3.6 %||54.3 %||8.9 %||n/a|
|1993||58.0||5,200||2.0 %||45.0 %||8.3 %||n/a|
|1994||61.7||5,425||4.3 %||27.4 %||5.7 %||n/a|
|1995||64.4||5,556||2.3 %||22.9 %||5.4 %||n/a|
|1996||66.8||5,658||1.7 %||24.4 %||9.0 %||n/a|
|1997||70.8||5,910||4.3 %||30.6 %||7.8 %||n/a|
|1998||73.9||6,077||3.3 %||36.1 %||10.2 %||n/a|
|1999||71.5||5,792||−4.7 %||52.2 %||13.1 %||n/a|
|2000||73.9||5,901||1.1 %||96.1 %||7.6 %||n/a|
|2001||78.7||6,139||4.0 %||37.7 %||9.6 %||63.4 %|
|2002||83.1||6,350||4.1 %||12.5 %||7.8 %||55.5 %|
|2003||87.1||6,540||2.7 %||7.9 %||10.2 %||49.0 %|
|2004||96.9||7,148||8.2 %||2.7 %||7.2 %||43.0 %|
|2005||105.3||7,672||5.3 %||2.2 %||7.1 %||38.7 %|
|2006||113.3||8,112||4.4 %||3.3 %||6.7 %||38.1 %|
|2007||118.8||8,361||2.2 %||2.3 %||6.9 %||35.3 %|
|2008||128.9||8,905||6.4 %||8.4 %||6.0 %||28.7 %|
|2009||130.6||8,860||0.6 %||5.2 %||6.5 %||25.3 %|
|2010||136.8||9,116||3.5 %||3.6 %||5.0 %||23.1 %|
|2011||150.7||9,869||7.9 %||4.5 %||4.2 %||21.4 %|
|2012||162.1||10,444||5.6 %||5.1 %||4.1 %||20.6 %|
|2013||172.9||10,958||4.9 %||2.7 %||4.2 %||21.1 %|
|2014||182.6||11,394||3.8 %||3.6 %||3.8 %||27.1 %|
|2015||184.7||11,351||0.1 %||4.0 %||4.8 %||33.8 %|
|2016||184.2||11,144||−1.6 %||1.7 %||5.2 %||42.9 %|
|2017||192.6||11,482||2.7 %||0.4 %||4.6 %||45.0 %|
The 1998-1999 Ecuador financial crisis was a period of economic instability that resulted from a combined banking crisis, currency crisis, and sovereign debt crisis. Severe inflation and devaluation of the Ecuadorean Sucre lead to President Jamil Mahuad announcing on January 9, 2000 that the US dollar would be adopted as the national currency. Poor economic conditions and subsequent protests against the government resulted in the 2000 Ecuadorian coup d’état in which Jamil Mahuad was forced to resign and was replaced by his Vice President, Gustavo Noboa.2000 Ecuadorian coup d'état
The 2000 Ecuadorian coup d'état took place on 21 January 2000 and resulted in President Jamil Mahuad being deposed, and replaced by Vice President Gustavo Noboa. The coup coalition brought together a short-lived junta composed by the country's most powerful indigenous group, Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), and a group of junior military officers led by Lieutenant Colonel Lucio Gutiérrez.Amidst a severe economic crisis, the coup coalition sought to emulate the populist democracy and economy of Hugo Chávez's Venezuela. The coup ultimately failed, with senior military officers opposed to the programme installing the elected Vice President as President, and imprisoning coup leaders.Andean Community
The Andean Community (Spanish: Comunidad Andina, CAN) is a free trade area with the objective of creating a customs union comprising the South American countries of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. The trade bloc was called the Andean Pact until 1996 and came into existence when the Cartagena Agreement was signed in 1969. Its headquarters are in Lima, Peru.
The Andean Community has 98 million inhabitants living in an area of 4,700,000 square kilometers, whose Gross Domestic Product amounted to US$745.3 billion in 2005, including Venezuela, who was a member at that time. Its estimated GDP PPP for 2011 amounts to US$902.86 billion, excluding Venezuela.Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act
The Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA) is a trade preference system by which the United States grants duty-free access to a wide range of exports from four Andean countries: Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. It was enacted on October 31, 2002 as a replacement for the similar Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA). The purpose of this preference system is to foster economic development in the Andean countries to provide alternatives to coca production. Bolivia has installed capacity to industrialize coca production and its derivatives, since coca has no narcotic effects, but the United States does not make any difference between coca and cocaine. Thus, the U.S. government eliminated this "preference".Banana production in Ecuador
Banana production in Ecuador is important to the national economy. Ecuador is one of the world's top banana producers, ranked 5th with an annual production of 8 million tonnes (6% of world production) as of 2011. The country exports more than 4 million tonnes annually. The crop is mostly grown on private plantations which sell their crop to national and international companies such as Chiquita, Del Monte, Dole, and Noboa. and others.Banking in Ecuador
Banking in Ecuador has a long history. At the time of the dissolution of Gran Colombia and its formation as a republic, Ecuador's economy was generally not monetized; gold and silver coins were circulated, and were brought into common use by successive currency laws. Little by little, with the growth of the nation, Ecuadorian banking also grew and was particularly centered on the city of Guayaquil. After the Liberal Revolution came a period called the Banking Plutocracy (Plutocracia bancaria) that was dominated by private banking, especially by the Commercial and Agricultural Bank of Guayaquil (Banco Comercial y Agrícola de Guayaquil). This period ended with the July Revolution (Revolución Juliana) of 1925.In 1998, Ecuador's banks faced the worst financial crisis in the country's history.Central Bank of Ecuador
The Central Bank of Ecuador (Spanish: Banco Central del Ecuador (BCE)) is the central bank of Ecuador.
The Revolución Juliana (July 9, 1925) initiated the process of founding a national bank issuer. The country's crisis, caused by non-convertibility of the currency, banknote printing without reserves to support the increase in currency, inflation, speculation, abuse of credit, unbalanced payments, lack of official control over the banks and banking anarchy and strife, required cleaning up the currency situation. Current governor is Diego Martinez.Coffee production in Ecuador
Coffee production in Ecuador is one of only 15 countries in the world that grows and exports both Arabica and Robusta coffee, the two main species of coffee produced and consumed in the world. Different ecosystems in Ecuador permit different coffee cultures to occur all over the country, including in the Galápagos Islands.Corruption in Ecuador
Corruption in Ecuador is a highly serious problem. In 2014, the U.S. Department of State cited Ecuador's corruption as a key human-rights problem. According to Freedom House, “Ecuador has long been racked by corruption” and the weak judicial oversight and investigative resources perpetuate a culture of impunity. In 2012, The Daily Mail called the country “a hotbed of corruption” and stated that corruption “is widespread in the government, judiciary and police.”According to one report, “institutionalized graft has become a driving force” of Ecuador's economy, and that this graft “is flourishing in a vacuum of transparency or accountability.” The same report indicated that “the entire business class of Guayaquil” owns offshore bank accounts.When Julian Assange of WikiLeaks sought refuge in Ecuador, the Daily Mail noted with irony that some of the diplomatic cables he had published revealed corruption in the same nation he sought asylum from.David Rosero, a member of the opposition party and Ecuador's Council for Citizen Participation, has said that $2 billion is lost every year to corruption.Economic history of Ecuador
This article is about the economic history of Ecuador and its evolution from colonial to modern times.Ecosimia
ECOSIMIA (El Ecosistema es Responsabilidad Mia), previously known as SINTRAL, is a LETS and describes an alternative economic structure in Ecuador. Developed within the Fundación Educativa Pestalozzi (an alternative school project in Tumbaco), the first SINTRAL-market took place 1992.
Like other LETSs, ECOSIMIA is a non-monetary mutual credit system that includes a record of the transactions made by each member. When two group members exchange a product or service, they assign that transaction a numerical value. They inform the local bank, who enter it into their public records. The numerical value has purely statistic meaning: there are no debts and it is not possible to demand an equivalent to this number. Transactions on a regional level are agreed directly between the groups.
Beginning in 2000 the economic situation for most of the people in Ecuador became more difficult with the introduction of the US Dollar as national currency. During this crisis, Mauricio Wild (the co-founder of the Fundación Educativa Pestalozzi) resolved to create a decentralized network of groups to trade all over the country. These groups spread particularly in the rural areas of Ecuador. Today there are already about 140 Ecosimia-groups in Ecuador, operating in 13 provinces. In this particular case a number of such groups from all over Ecuador have come together to form a country-wide trading network.
As a consequence of this experience, at a SINTRAL meeting, held from 20 – 22 April 2006, the name SINTRAL was changed to ECOSIMIA, from the Spanish “el ECOSIstema es responsabilidad MIA," meaning the ecosystem is my own responsibility.Ecuadorian peso
The peso was a currency of Ecuador until 1884.Ecuadorian real
The real was the currency of Ecuador until 1871. There were no subdivisions but 16 silver reales equalled 1 gold escudo, with the 8 reales coin known as a peso.Ecuadorian sucre
The Sucre (Spanish pronunciation: [sukre]) was the currency of Ecuador between 1884 and 2000. Its ISO code was ECS and it was subdivided into 10 Decimos or 100 Centavos. The sucre was named after Latin American political leader Antonio José de Sucre. The currency was replaced by the United States dollar as a result of the 1998–99 financial crisis.Index of Ecuador-related articles
The following is an alphabetical list of topics related to the Republic of Ecuador.Jamil Mahuad
Jorge Jamil Mahuad Witt (born July 29, 1949) is an Ecuadorian lawyer, academic and former politician, he was the 39th President of Ecuador from August 10, 1998 to January 21, 2000.List of supermarket chains in Ecuador
This is a list of list of supermarket chains in Ecuador currently operating. As of May 2012, there are 390 supermarkets in Ecuador; 117 of them are located in Guayaquil and 78 are located in Quito.Mining in Ecuador
Mining had a very small impact on the Ecuadorian economy back in the 1980s, contributing only 0.7 percent to the GDP in 1986 and employing around 7,000 people. Minerals were located in regions with little to no access, thus exploration activities were hindered. Although it was believed that Ecuador had reserves of gold, silver, copper, zinc, uranium, lead, sulfur, kaolin and limestone,the latter practically dominated the industry as it was used in local cement plants.
Gold, which was largely forgotten since its early exploitation in the sixteenth century, regained momentum in the 1980s. Ecuador were exporting 2.4 tons per year by 1987, which was mostly discovered in the southern Sierra region, as well as the southeastern province of Zamora-Chinchipe.
In 1985 Ecuador's Congress passed a new law to encourage foreign exploration and investment. Designed to simplify regulation of the industry, the legislation offered higher financial incentives and lower taxation for investors, while also establishing the Ecuadorian Institute of Minerals (Instituto Ecuatoriano de Minería—Inemin) under the Ministry of Energy and Mines.Policies during President Rafael Correa's first six years in office slowed mining activity, despite his plans to develop the industry. According to the United Nations, in 2012 Ecuador received less foreign direct investment per person than any other country in Latin America. A new mining law was eventually passed by Congress on 13 June 2013, making Ecuador much more lucrative for foreign investors. "The new law imposes an 8% ceiling on previously open-ended royalties, and streamlines the permits required. Companies won’t pay windfall taxes until they have recouped their investments."Soon after the law had passed, it was reported that several indigenous groups in opposition of large-scale mining planned to take their cases to the international courts later in the year. Led by Carlos Perez, Ecuador's Confederation of Peoples of Kichwa Nationality (Ecuarunari) had already filed a domestic lawsuit. Perez said, "Mining activity affects our ancestral territories. We will do everything to defend our land and our people. We will go to the Human Rights Commission and, if necessary, to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, asking for protective measures." The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities (Conaie) "also filed a suit before the constitutional court asking for a law to carry out prelegislative consultation for people that could be affected by mining." Their president, Humberto Cholango, didn't rule out going to the international courts.Water privatization in Guayaquil
Water privatization in Guayaquil began with the decision taken in 1995 to privatize drinking water supply and sewerage in Guayaquil, the largest city and economic capital of Ecuador, through a concession contract. In preparation for privatization, the previously separate water and sewer utilities were merged into a single utility in 1996. The new utility began a modernization process and began to improve its performance. In parallel, the international bidding for the concession was prepared by Banque Paribas as the international advisor and was supported by the Inter-American Development Bank. The latter made a loan that was signed in October 1997 conditional upon the decision to award a concession. The 30-year concession agreement between the city government and the private company Interagua was signed in 2001. The contract was "poor-friendly", requiring the private company to keep tariffs constant for the first five years and to connect new users in poor areas "at no cost". At the same time, the former municipal water and sewer utility ECAPAG became the regulatory agency for the new private utility. Interagua is a consortium led by the Spanish company Proactiva Medio Ambiente, which in turn is supported by the Spanish construction firm FCC and the French water company Veolia Environnement. In 2012 the regulator ECAPAG was transformed into the Municipal Public Drinking Water and Sanitation Company of Guayaquil in what may be a first step towards the municipalization of the concession.