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Nicaragua: Central Bank says economy up 30 percent under Sandinistas

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Oswaldo Rivas/Reuters

(Read caption) A soldier stands next to a Nicaragua national flag during the celebration of the 191st anniversary of Central America Independence at the Revolution Square in Managua Sept. 11.

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Nicaragua’s economy has grown 30 percent since the Sandinistas returned to power in 2006, according to new numbers published this week by the Nicaraguan Central Bank.

Though Nicaragua’s economy remains the smallest in Central America, it is making up ground on its neighbors thanks to the government’s economic policies and social programs, according to Central Bank President Alberto Guevara.

“The model of economic and social development promoted by Comandante Daniel Ortega Saavedra is working and has the powerful virtue of incorporating people and their own economic initiatives,” Mr. Guevara said.

According to Central Bank, Nicaragua’s Gross Domestic Product (GPD) per capita has grown from $1,239 to $1,582 just in the past year. While that is a notable improvement, it’s not enough to move Nicaragua out of last place in Central America.

Indeed, even with that growth, Nicaragua’s average GDP per capita is still less than half of the Central American average and only about one-sixth of Costa Rica’s GDP per capita ($8,876), according to International Monetary Fund estimates.

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