Cuba: Economy#

The government continues to balance the need for loosening its socialist economic system against a desire for firm political control. In April 2011, the government held the first Cuban Communist Party Congress in almost 13 years, during which leaders approved a plan for wide-ranging economic changes. Since then, the government has slowly and incrementally implemented limited economic reforms, including allowing Cubans to buy electronic appliances and cell phones, stay in hotels, and buy and sell used cars. The government has cut state sector jobs as part of the reform process, and it has opened up some retail services to "self-employment," leading to the rise of so-called "cuentapropistas" or entrepreneurs. Approximately 476,000 Cuban workers are currently registered as self-employed.

The Cuban regime has updated its economic model to include permitting the private ownership and sale of real estate and new vehicles, allowing private farmers to sell agricultural goods directly to hotels, allowing the creation of non-agricultural cooperatives, adopting a new foreign investment law, and launching a "Special Development Zone" around the Mariel port.

Since late 2000, Venezuela has provided petroleum products to Cuba on preferential terms, supplying nearly 100,000 barrels per day. Cuba has been paying for the oil, in part, with the services of Cuban personnel in Venezuela, including some 30,000 medical professionals.

Economic Facts#

GDP (purchasing power parity)$128.5 billion (2014 est.)
$126.9 billion (2013 est.)
$123.5 billion (2012 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$77.15 billion (2013 est.)
note: data are in Cuban Pesos at CUP 1 = US$ Official Exchange Rate
GDP - real growth rate1.3% (2014 est.)
2.7% (2013 est.)
3% (2012 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$11,600 (2014 est.)
$11,500 (2013 est.)
$11,200 (2012 est.)
note: data are in 2014 US dollars
Gross national saving6% of GDP (2015 est.)
12.5% of GDP (2014 est.)
13.3% of GDP (2013 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 55.9%
government consumption: 34.2%
investment in fixed capital: 9.6%
investment in inventories: -0.1%
exports of goods and services: 17.5%
imports of goods and services: -17.1% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of originagriculture: 3.9%
industry: 23%
services: 72.2% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productssugar, tobacco, citrus, coffee, rice, potatoes, beans; livestock
Industriespetroleum, nickel, cobalt, pharmaceuticals, tobacco, construction, steel, cement, agricultural machinery, sugar
Industrial production growth rate-0.2% (2016 est.)
Labor force5.117 million
note: state sector 72.3%, non-state sector 27.7% (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 18%
industry: 10%
services: 72% (2013 est.)
Unemployment rate2.5% (2016 est.)
2.4% (2015 est.)
note: these are official rates; unofficial estimates are about double the official figures
Population below poverty lineNA%
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Budgetrevenues: $52.37 billion
expenditures: $58.59 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues67.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-8.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt32.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
34.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices)4.5% (2016 est.)
4.6% (2015 est.)
Central bank discount rateNA%
Commercial bank prime lending rateNA%
Stock of narrow money$19.95 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$18.91 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$43.92 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$42.59 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$NA
Current account balance-$145.7 million (2015 est.)
$1.996 billion (2014 est.)
Exports$3.428 billion (2016 est.)
$3.903 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiespetroleum, nickel, medical products, sugar, tobacco, fish, citrus, coffee
Exports - partnersCanada 17.7%, Venezuela 13.8%, China 13%, Netherlands 6.4%, Spain 5.4%, Belize 4.7% (2015)
Imports$12.34 billion (2016 est.)
$13.48 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiespetroleum, food, machinery and equipment, chemicals
Imports - partnersVenezuela 31.8%, China 17.6%, Spain 10%, Brazil 4.8% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$13.1 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$12.1 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external$26.32 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$26 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$NA
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$4.138 billion (2006 est.)
Exchange ratesCuban pesos (CUP) per US dollar -
1 (2016 est.)
1 (2015 est.)
1 (2014 est.)
22.7 (2013 est.)
1 (2012 est.)