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Guatemala Guatemala

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Guatemala – Quick View
ECR score35.72 (Mar 2011)
ECR rank114 (Mar 2011)
GDP (2010)USD 25.45 billion
GNI per capita PPP (2010)USD 4,694
FDI inflow (2010)USD 709.5 million
Inflation (2010)5.39%
Central bank assets (Nov 2010)USD 10,237.84 million
Unemployment rateNA
Government deficit (2010)USD 1,336.91 million
Tax revenue (2010)USD 4,239.65 million
Government typeConstitutional Democracy
Recent political crisisNA
Economic freedom score79th
Freedom of information score77th
Corruption perception index91st
Birth rate33.3 per '000
Population balanceUnder 14 years – 42%
Population balanceOver 60 years – 6.4%
Life expectancy yearsMales – 66.7 years
Life expectancy yearsFemales – 73.8 years
Mortality rate5.7 per '000
Literacy rate72.5%
Internet access16.8%

[Top] Economic Overview


Nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) at constant prices in 2010 was recorded at GTQ 208.77 billion, increasing 3.8% over the previous year of GTQ 201.05 billion.

Guatemala GDP

(Source: National Bank)

GDP per capita

In 2009, Guatemala’s GDP per capita at current prices was USD 461, compared to USD 495 in 2008.

(Source: World Bank)

Gross national income (GNI)

The country’s gross national income in 2009 was registered at USD 37,188.65 million. While, in 2008, GNI of the country was USD 36,529.82 million.

Guatemala GNI

(Source: World Bank)

GNI per capita (PPP)

Guatemala’s GNI per capita at PPP in 2010 was USD 4,694 as compared to USD 4,346 in 2005.

(Source: UNDP)

Tax rates

Income tax

Individual income tax rates in Guatemala are levied progressively up to 31%.

Income slabs for tax rate are:


Taxable income (GTQ)

Tax due on limit

Tax rate (%)

Up to 65,000



65,001 to 180,000



180,001 to 295,000



Over 295,000



(Source: taxrates.cc)

Corporate tax

The tax rate for companies is charged at 5% (on gross income) under the general income tax regime and 31% under the optional tax regime.

(Source: taxrates.cc)

Value added tax (VAT)

The standard rate of value added tax in the country is 12%

(Source: taxrates.cc)


The inflation rate in Guatemala in December 2010 was 5.39%, increasing from December 2009 when the inflation rate was 0.28%.

Guatemala Infaltion Rate

Inflation rate in the country has fluctuated since 2001. For instance, after reaching as high as 9.4% of inflation rate in 2008, the country experienced deflation of 0.28% in the very next year.

(Source: National Statistics)

Foreign direct investment (FDI)

Foreign direct investment in Guatemala for 2010 was estimated to be USD 709.5 million, and further projected to grow by 12% in 2011.

Guatemala FDI

E – Estimated, P - Projected

(Source: Ministry of Economy)

Portfolio investment inflow

In 2009, portfolio investment of the country was USD 37.1million, a decrease of 28% compared to previous year. Portfolio investment in 2008 was registered at USD 51.8 million.

(Source: National Bank)

Central bank assets


Balance sheet of Central Bank of Guatemala (as of Nov-2010) (GTQ million)

                                         With Non-Residents

Monetary gold


International holding units account


Foreign cash


Deposits abroad


Foreign investments in securities


Other assets


Contributions to international financial


                                             With Residents

Investing in securities of the interior


Domestic credit


Treasury bonds of the republic of Guatemala acquired by resolution of FOPA


Property, plant and equipment and intangible


Miscellaneous debtors within


Active account valuation


Treasury bonds of the republic of Guatemala received to cover net deficiencies


Restoration of the state capital receivable


Other assets


Total Assets


(Source: National Bank)

[Top] Financial Indicators & Government Financial

Consumer price index

The Consumer Price Index at the end of December 2010 was 192.28.

Guatemala Consumer Price Index

Base, Year 2000 = 100

(Source: National Statistics)

Interest rates

Latest interest rates prevailing in the country are as follows


Interest rates (%)


31st Dec 2010

10th Mar 2011

Savings Accounts



Time Deposits



Average weighted deposit rate



Securities and time certificate



Total deposit rates



(Source: National Bank)

Money supply

Currency in circulation in 2009 was GTQ 18,165.9 million, and reserve money in the nation was GTQ 13,638.4 million. Creating a total monetary base of GTQ 31,804.3 million.

(Source: National Bank)

In 2009, narrow money (M1) and broad money (M2) increased by about 5.7% and 7.5% respectively.

Guatemala Money Supply

(Source: National Bank)

Public debt

Outstanding internal public debt in 2010 was GTQ 36,769.2 million, increasing from GTQ 30,598.2 million in 2009.

Guatemala Public debt

(Source: National Bank)

Outstanding public foreign debt in 2010 was GTQ 5,562 million.


Foreign public debt (GTQ million)

Public sector



Central government loans



Central government bonds



Rest of public sector



Total foreign public debt



(Source: National Bank)

Official exchange rate

GTQ per USD exchange rate for 2009 was 8.17. Alternatively, the exchange rate was GTQ 7.56 per USD.

Guatemala Exchange Rate

(Source: National Bank)

Government finances

Fiscal balance

The government fiscal balance in 2010 was a deficit of GTQ 10,964.8 million.

Guatemala Fiscal Balance

P – Preliminary data

(Source: National Bank)

Total revenue

According to preliminary results, revenue of central government in 2010 increased by about 10% and registered a total revenue of GTQ 37,420.9 million. Out of this total revenue, GTQ 34,771.9 million was through tax revenue, GTQ 2,203.4 million was from non tax revenue, GTQ 27.8 million was by capital and finally, grants amounted to GTQ 417.8 million. Guatemala Total Revenue

P – Preliminary data

(Source: National Bank)

Tax revenue

In 2010, total tax revenue was GTQ 34,771.9 million, increasing 9.3% compared to the previous year. In 2009, total tax revenue of the central government was GTQ 31,811.7 million.

Guatemala Tax Revenue

P – Preliminary data

(Source: National Bank)

Total grants

Total grants to the country decreased by 14.7% in 2010, creating a total of GTQ 417.8 million compared to GTQ 489.7 million in 2009.

Guatemala Grants

P – Preliminary data

(Source: National Bank)

Current account nalance

The current account balance in 2010 was a deficit of USD 1,095 million.

Guatemala Current Account Balance

(Source: eclac.cl)

Balance of payments

Balance of Payments (USD million)




Exports of goods and services



Imports of goods and services



Current account



Capital and financial account



Overall balance



(Source: eclac.cl)

[Top] Labour Force and Employment Overview

Labour force

The total labour force of Guatemala in 2010 was registered at 5.27 million people, increasing by about 20% since 2005, when the total labour force was 4.4 million.

Guatemala Labour Force

(Source: eclac.cl)

Labour force participation rate

Total labour force participation rate in 2010 was 62.9%. Additonally, the participation rate was higher amongst males with 82.5% as compared to 45.2% of females.

(Source: eclac.cl)

Minimum wage

Minimum wagein Guatemala during 2009 was GTQ 1,680 per month or USD 2010.26.




Per day

Per month

Agriculture and non agriculture

GTQ 7 /

USD 0.88

GTQ 56 /

USD 7.01

GTQ 1,680 /

USD 210.26


GTQ 6.47 /

USD 0.81

GTQ 51.75 /

 USD 6.47

GTQ 1,552.50 /

USD 194.30

Incentive bonus

GTQ 1.04 /

USD 0.13

GTQ 8.33 /

USD 1.08

GTQ 250 /

USD 32.42

(Source: investinguatemala.org)

Level of unionisation

In Guatemala only about 2% of total labour force is unionised.

About 75% of the total workforce of Guatemala falls into the informal sector, and therefore do not receive the benefits of healthcare, overtime pay, job security and vacation time.

Major trade union confederations in the country are:

  • Confederacion de Unidad Sindical de Guatemala (CUSG)
  • Unión Sindical de Trabajadores de Guatemala (UNSITRAGUA)
  • Central General de Trabajadores de Guatemala (CGTG)

(Source: ghrc-usa.org)

[Top] Political Stability

Guatemala is a constitutionally democratic country with a unicameral parliament. The parliament comprises of 158 members, who are elected every 4 years. The president is the head of the country and is voted for a single term of four years by universal suffrage.

(Source: fco.gov.uk)

Major political parties in the country are:

  • FRG - Frente Republicano Guatemalteco
  • PAN – Partido de Avanzada Nacional GANA – Gran Alianza para una Nueva Nacion
  • GANA – Gran Alianza para una Nueva Nacion
  • PP – Partido Patriota
  • UNE – Unidad Nacional de Esperanza
  • EG – Encuentro por Guatemala
  • URNG – Unidad Revolucionaria Nacional Guatemalteca
  • CASA - Centro de Acción Social
  • UCN – Union del Cambio Nacional
  • UD – Union Democrática
  • PU – Partido Unionista

(Source: fco.gov.uk)

Regulatory environment in Guatemala

The government in Guatemala is based on a democratic republic framework, which means that the head of the state is the representative of the people, chosen by the people and is bound to govern by the constitutional law.

Guatemala Economic Freedom Indices

The country’s economic freedom score is 61.9, making its economy the 79th freest in the 2011 Index. Guatemala ranks 17th out of 29 regional countries in South and Central America. Additonally, Guatemala’s overall score is well above the global and regional averages.


Corruption perception

The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) is a survey to measure the perceived level of corruption across countries worldwide. Guatemala is ranked 91st on 2010 index, which indicates that the corruption levels in the public departments in the country is fairly high.

Guatemala has slipped on the CPI rankings since 2009 when it was ranked 84th with a score of 3.4, which indicates the perceived levels of corruption have decreased in the country.


Freedom of information

Guatemala's constitution safeguards the freedom of press and hence newspapers can liberally criticise the government. That being said, the reporters have to face anonymous threats, especially the ones who expose corruption in the country.

Media in the country is dominated by the private players. TV broadcasting is under a monopoly, since four of the national TV channels are shared by the same owner. 

(Source: BBC)

Guatemala is ranked 77th on World Press Freedom Index 2010, with a score of 20.25, which indicates that media in Guatemala is restricted.

(Source: rsf.org)

The press

  • Prensa Libre - daily
  • La Hora - private daily
  • elPeriodico - private daily
  • Siglo Veintiuno - daily


  • Canal 3 - commercial
  • Teleonce (Canal 11) - commercial
  • Televisiete (Canal 7) - commercial
  • Trecevision (Canal 13) - commercial


  • La Voz de Guatemala - government-owned
  • Radio Cultural TGN - private, religious/cultural, broadcasts in Spanish, English and indigenous languages
  • Radio Sonora - news and talk station

News agency

  • Inforpress Centroamericana - private

(Source: BBC)

Judicial system

The constitution of Guatemala establishes a collateral judicial system responsible for administering autonomy and with the authority to deliver justice in pursuit of peace and communal harmony. Additonally, all the magistrates and judges have independence in performing their duties.

Courts in Guatemala are based according ab hierarchy with the Supreme Court of the nation being the highest court, adjudicating throughout the country. After whcih, there are the Court of Appeals and other collegial courts, finally followed by the lower courts.

The Supreme Court consists of thirteen judges, who are elected by the congress for a term of five years.

The Supreme Court is made up of three chambers:

  • Amparo and Petrial Chamber
  • Civil chamber
  • Criminal division

Each chamber is comprised of a chairman who is elected by the President of the Supreme Court. The President of the Supreme Court also heads judiciary in the country. Also there is a secretariat of the Supreme Court who assists in the implementation of the decisions made by the court, processing court records and distributing the work of judges.

(Source: oj.gob.gt)

[Top] Demographic Overview

Total population of Guatemala in 2010 was 14.36 million, of which 7 million were males and 7.36 were females, increasing 2.46% from 2005.

(Source: National Statistics, eclac.cl)

Gender Ratio

The gender ratio in the country is slightly imbalanced, there are about 95.1 males for every 100 females in the country.

Guatemala Population by Gender

(Source: National Statistics)

Population by age group

The majority of the population in the country, about 42%, belongs to the age group of 0-14, followed by the age group of 15-34 with 34.5%. Finally, the population over 60 formed about 6.4% of total population of the country.

Guatemala Population by age group

(Source: National Statistics)

Rural/urban population ratio

Urban population in 2010 was 8.22 million, against 6.14 million people in rural areas. In 2010, the urban population formed 57.24% of total population, increasing 5.17% from 2005, while the rural population formed 42.76%.

(Source: eclac.cl)

Life expectancy

Average life expectancy from 2005 to 2010 in the country was 70.2 years. Specifically, life expectancy for males and females during the same period was 66.7 years and 73.8 years respectively.

(Source: eclac.cl)

Birth rate and mortality rate

Birth rate in the country from 2005 to 2010 was 33.3 per thousand inhabitants, while the crude death rate was 5.7 per thousand inhabitants.

(Source: eclac.cl)

The infant mortality rate from 2005 to 2010 was 30.1 per thousand live births.

(Source: UN data)

Net migration

Net migration rate from 2005 to 2010 was 3 migrants per thousand populations. Additonally, immigrants from the country in 2010 constituted 0.4% of the total population.

(Source: IOM)

International migrant stock, till mid 2010, was recorded at 59,500 people. This was approximately 0.4% of the entire population.

(Source: UN data)

Ethnic environment

The major ethnic group in the country is Mestizo (mixed Spanish-Indian), and the major religions are Roman Catholics, Protestants and traditional Mayans.

(Source: State.gov)

Human Development Index (HDI)

Guatemala ranks 116th out of 169 countries on the Human Development Index (HDI) 2010 conducted by the United Nations. The HDI provides a composite measure of three dimensions of human development: living a long and healthy life (measured by life expectancy), being educated (measured by adult literacy and gross enrolment in education) and having a decent standard of living (measured by purchasing power parity, PPP, income).


[Top] Soft Infrastructure

Literacy rate

Literacy rate in the country is registered at 72.5%.

(Source: Guardian.uk)

The total number of students in the country was registered at 4.26 million, with a total amount of teachers in the country amounting to 183,006. Creating a student per teacher ratio for primary education of 29.

(Source: Ministry of Education)

Public expenditure on education for 2008 was 3.2% of GDP.

(Source: eclac.cl)


The total number of healthcare units in Guatemala was 83, of which 43 were hospitals, 26 were aresa health and 13 were technical units.

(Source: Ministry of Health)

In 2009, the average number inhabitants per physician were 4,885 and there were 0.6 beds per 1000 inhabitants.

(Source: eclac.cl, eclac.cl)

Public expenditure on health in 2009 was 1.4% of GDP.

Guatemala Expenditure on Health

(Source: eclac.cl)

The expenditure on healthcare, as a percentage of GDP, from 2001 to 2005 was averaged at 5.2%, witnessing a sharp decline from 2006 to 2009 at an average of 1.55%.

[Top] Hard Infrastructure

The country has a well developed road infrastructure, supported with around 1,000 bridges and more than 6,500 km of paved roads.

(Source: Ministry of Communication)


There are five ports in Guatemala namely, Port of Champerico, Puerto Barrios, Puerto Quetzal, Port of San Jose and Port of Santo Tomas de Castillo.

(Source:world port source)


The major airports in the country are:


Airport name

Runway length (ft.)

Coban Guatemala




Tikal Intl.


Guatemala City

La Aurora Intl.





Puerto Barrios

Puerto Barrios


Puerto San Jose

San Jose





(Source: Air charter world)

Telecommunications networks

In 2009, the number of fixed telephone lines in the country was 1.41 million, declining 2.5% from 2008.  The number of fixed telephone lines per 100 inhabitants also declined to 10.08 in 2009 from 10.59 in 2008.

(Source: ITU)

However, mobile cellular subscription in 2009 increased by about 16% with 17.3 million subscribers against 14.95 million in 2008. Therefore, there were 123.39 mobile subscriptions per 100 inhabitants in 2009 as compared to 109.22 in 2008.

(Source: ITU)

In 2010, 2.28 million people, accounting to almost 16.8% of the total population, used internet services. Guatemala Internet Subscribers


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