flag Paraguay Paraguay: Economic Outline

Economic Indicators

For the latest updates on the key economic responses from governments to address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, please consult the IMF's policy tracking platform Policy Responses to COVID-19.

Even though Paraguay is among the poorest countries in South America, the country has experienced high and steady growth in the past decade. According to the IMF, GDP grew by 0.2% in 2022, driven mainly by improved weather conditions that benefited agricultural activity and generation and exports of electricity. The improvement of the weather conditions should continue effecting the economy in 2023, as the resumption of activity should be mainly led by agriculture, reflecting in a GDP growth of 4.5% that same year and 3.5% in 2024.

Since 2013, Paraguay has adopted a Tax Responsibility Law, which sets the limit of the authorised fiscal deficit at 1.5% of GDP. In 2022, public deficit decreased to 4.1%. As such, the Fiscal Responsibility Law remained suspended, with deficit only likely to return below the ceiling by 2024, when the government should continue its prudent fiscal policy, keeping to the deficit limit of 1.5% of GDP. Paraguay has invested in many public development policies and has seen its foreign debt double over the last five years. Still, Paraguay's public debt is among the lowest in Latin America, at 40.9%, and should remain stable in the next couple of years (40.4% in 2023 and 40.3% in 2024). Inflation increased to 9.8% in 2022, and it is expected to decrease in the next two years, to 5.2% in 2023 and 4.1% in 2024. Those rates, however, are within the target range set by the central bank - between 2% and 6%. The agriculture, sales, and construction sectors continue to be the driving forces behind Paraguay's economic growth. The production of the Itaipu and Yacireta hydro-power plants, as well as highly productive farms and livestock, are economic drivers and account for more than 60% of Paraguay's total exports.

Paraguay has the lowest unemployment rate in the Mercosur area, which was an estimated 6.8% in 2022. However, poverty and income inequality remain major challenges. Still, the total poverty rate – which the World Bank defines as less than USD 3.10 a day – has been falling, and is currently 26.1%. Nevertheless, the extreme poverty rate (which concerns individuals living on less than USD 1.90 a day) has risen, going from 5.4% to 5.7%. In rural areas, 41.2% of the population lack a monthly income to cover basic necessities, whereas in urban centres this figure is 27.6%. Moreover, land concentration in the Paraguayan countryside is one of the highest in the globe, with 10% of the population controlling 66% of the land, while 30% of the rural people are landless, causing ongoing tension between the landless and elites.

Main Indicators 20222023 (E)2024 (E)2025 (E)2026 (E)
GDP (billions USD) 41.7244.1446.6749.1952.83
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change)
GDP per Capita (USD) 5,5985,8436,0956,3406,720
General Government Balance (in % of GDP) -3.3-4.2-2.2-1.5-1.2
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 40.840.942.941.140.5
Inflation Rate (%) n/a4.
Current Account (billions USD) -2.490.260.040.570.59
Current Account (in % of GDP) -

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database - October 2021.

Note: (e) Estimated Data

Monetary Indicators 20162017201820192020
Paraguayan Guarani (PYG) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 GHS 1,421.181,291.521,250.101,200.131,210.05

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.


Main Sectors of Industry

Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment) 19.7 19.5 60.8
Value Added (in % of GDP) 11.3 33.2 48.3
Value Added (Annual % Change) -8.7 0.4 1.6

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.

Socio-Demographic Indicators 2024 (e)2025 (e)2026 (e)
Unemployment Rate (%)

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database - Latest available data


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The Active Population in Figures

Labour Force 3,534,8623,625,0513,562,864

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database

Total activity rate 73.78%75.49%76.18%
Men activity rate 87.01%87.65%88.10%
Women activity rate 59.99%62.82%63.76%

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database


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Indicator of Economic Freedom


The Economic freedom index measure ten components of economic freedom, grouped into four broad categories or pillars of economic freedom: Rule of Law (property rights, freedom from corruption); Limited Government (fiscal freedom, government spending); Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labour freedom, monetary freedom); and Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom). Each of the freedoms within these four broad categories is individually scored on a scale of 0 to 100. A country’s overall economic freedom score is a simple average of its scores on the 10 individual freedoms.

World Rank:
Regional Rank:

Economic freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Index of Economic Freedom, Heritage Foundation


Country Risk

See the country risk analysis provided by Coface.


Indicator of Political Freedom


The Indicator of Political Freedom provides an annual evaluation of the state of freedom in a country as experienced by individuals. The survey measures freedom according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties. The ratings process is based on a checklist of 10 political rights questions (on Electoral Process, Political Pluralism and Participation, Functioning of Government) and 15 civil liberties questions (on Freedom of Expression, Belief, Associational and Organizational Rights, Rule of Law, Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights). Scores are awarded to each of these questions on a scale of 0 to 4, where a score of 0 represents the smallest degree and 4 the greatest degree of rights or liberties present. The total score awarded to the political rights and civil liberties checklist determines the political rights and civil liberties rating. Each rating of 1 through 7, with 1 representing the highest and 7 the lowest level of freedom, corresponds to a range of total scores.

Partly Free
Political Freedom:

Political freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Freedom in the World Report, Freedom House


Indicator of Freedom of the Press


The world rankings, published annually, measures violations of press freedom worldwide. It reflects the degree of freedom enjoyed by journalists, the media and digital citizens of each country and the means used by states to respect and uphold this freedom. Finally, a note and a position are assigned to each country. To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) prepared a questionnaire incorporating the main criteria (44 in total) to assess the situation of press freedom in a given country. This questionnaire was sent to partner organisations,150 RWB correspondents, journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists. It includes every kind of direct attacks against journalists and digital citizens (murders, imprisonment, assault, threats, etc.) or against the media (censorship, confiscation, searches and harassment etc.).

World Rank:

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Sources of General Economic Information

Main Online Newspapers and Portals
Última Hora (in Spanish)
La Nación (in Spanish)
Merco Press (in English)
Paraguay Newspapers online
Useful Resources
Ministry of Finance
Ministry of Industry and Commerce
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Interior
Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development
Ministry of Justice
Official list of ministries and their websites
Central Bank of Paraguay

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Latest Update: November 2023