The economic activity has demonstrated a moderation in its growth during 2018, showing the evolution of the trimestral Gross Domestic Product (GDP), to March an economic growth is expected for the 2018-2019 biennium, locating it in 3.6% – 4.0% (BCH, Revisión Programa Monetario, 2018).
In October 31st, 2017, The International Monetary Fund (IMF) stated under the Fifth and Sixth Reviews Under SBA with Honduras, through Mr. Zhang, Acting Chair and Deputy Managing Director: “The authorities’ commitment to their reform agenda has remained strong during the program, which has successfully stabilized the economy, restored confidence, and paved the way for accelerating growth and reducing poverty. The program is on track and reforms are progressing as expected.
The Honduran economy grew 3.1% at the closure of the first trimester of 2018, according to the seasonally adjusted series of the GDP, influenced by the moderate increase in consumption and investment of the private sector, as well as exportations. Because of the focus of the offer, among the economic activities that stand out that have demonstrated major contribution, Financial Intermediation, insurance and funds; manufacturing industry; Commerce; Transportation and Storage; and Agriculture, cattle raising, forestry and fishing (BCH, Revisión Programa Monetario, 2018).
Annual GDP Growth:
Macroeconomic Results 2017-2018
Monetary Program July 2017
In 2017, the inflation rate was of a 4.7% and with this, the target established by the Monetary Program is achieved.
FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT
Since 2015, Honduras has received more than US$ 3.6 billion from foreign investment, displaying the country’s significant levels of confidence accomplished in national and international investors (BCH, Economic Studies Deputy Manager, 2017).
By the end of the first semester of 2018, the Honduran economy attracted a flow of Foreign Direct Investment of US$619.9 millions, increasing in 5.8% when comparing it with the same period of 2017. The principal source of external financing in this variable where the reinvested utilities. From the origin of investment, it was observed that the major part came from North America, with 37.6% of the total, followed by Europe with 20.3%. While for economic activity the capitals oriented to Maquila (35.9%), Services (23.9%), and Transportation, Storage and Telecommunications (15.7%), stand out” (BCH,Flujos de Inversión Extranjera Directa, 2018).
At the end of the fourth quarter of 2016, economic activity-related inflows were as follows:
The Services activity was the most predominant in 2016, with FDI inflows of US$ 404.9 million, US$ 20.5 million higher than those obtained in 2015, mainly associated with the higher profits reinvested and increases in shares and equity investments of institutions responsible for financial intermediation.
Consequently, Transportation, Warehousing and Telecommunications followed with investments of US$ 240.5 million, US$ 8.7 million more than those collected at the end of 2015; in particular by the communication companies profit reinvestment. Third, the Manufacturing Industry registered resources of US$ 203.5 million, US$ 3.8 million more than reported in December of the previous year, due to profit reinvestments made by companies engaged in beverage and cement manufacturing.
FDI per Economic Activity
OUR HUMAN CAPITAL
Honduras has a total population of 8, 721.0 million people (2016), with a 1.7% relative growth rate per year. Our economically active population is 3.6 million (45%). (Central Bank of Honduras, 2016)
With a percentage distribution of 51.2% women and 48.8% men, it is estimated that by the year 2020 around 47% of the population will be in a range between 18 and 35 years of age. (National Institute of Statistics INE-Honduras, 2016)
Honduras 2020 Population Pyramid
Total Population Percentage
Total Population 9,304,380
Source: INE, Population Projections XVII Population Census and VI Housing 2013
Honduras has an important window of opportunities due to the demographic bonus. Since 2015, the economically active population is growing and acquiring a bigger potential.
The country has made great efforts to improve education indicators. Overall, there is a tendency for improvement, as illiteracy decreases, the population that culminates higher studies has increased. The number of professionals with higher education levels has been increasing since 2010, representing a 42.7% growth in five years. (Duriez, López, & Moncada, 2016)
In terms of national English Language education, the 2016-2017 academic year provided a total of 449 centers offering bilingual education with a student population of 67,391. Additionally, every year there are more educational centers offering French language education. (Secretary of Education, 2016)
The consulting firm Mckinsey estimates that every year there are more than 10,000 bilingual graduates in Honduras.
INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES
Regarding the use of information and communication technologies, mobile telephone lines reached a total of 7,717,200 subscribers at the end of this quarter, representing a total of 89 out of 100 Hondurans owning a mobile telephone line.
Landline and Mobile Users
By the end of this quarter, the number of landline internet subscribers reached a total of 208,326 and 1,649,891 in mobile internet, showing a growth in the previous quarter of 1.71% and 13.02% respectively.
According to data provided by INE (National Institute of Statistics), an increase in the number of 2,242,400 Internet users is estimated, showing a growth of 2.45% with respect to the previous quarter. (National Telecommunications Commission, CONATEL, 2016)
ECONOMIC AND PRODUCTIVE SECTORS
The economic activity has demonstrated a moderation in its growth during 2018, proving the evolution of trimestral Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to March and the Monthly Index of Economic Activity to June which have grown less than what was predicted in the Monetary Program of 2018-2019 published in March. Part of this behavior responds to specific factors of demand, primarily for the moderation of public investment; partially compensating for the confidence of the private sector reflected in the evolution of the investment and private consumer. In this context, it is expected a minor economic growth range for the 2018-2019 biennium, locating it in 3.6%-4.0%. To the first semester of 2018 major foreign exchange earnings where registered for family remittances, some farm product exportations, industrial and transformation goods (maquilas), regarding what was expected in the MP 2018-2019. In line with the above, the rise of the projections of exportations of goods and family remittances was revised for the 2018 closure, which will be reflected with a minor deficit in the current account of the balance of payments and the international reserves balance that allows to continue reaching a superior coverage to 4.5 months of goods and services imports, helping to preserve the external position of the country (BCH, Flujos de Inversión Extranjera Directa, 2018).
Francisco Morazán and Cortés are the two centers of economic development, in which most of Honduran industries and services are concentrated. Puerto Cortés’ free zone in the north of the country and surroundings of San Pedro Sula, concentrate more than 60% of the GDP and 80% of the country’s textile activity. The other industrial focus of minor importance is the capital, Tegucigalpa. The areas of the coastal plains have a strong agricultural character (bananas and African palm) and coffee production concentrates in the central regions. (Diplomatic Information of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain Office, 2017)
The external position of Honduras was impulsed by the family remittance growth and the abroad sale of goods for transformation (maquila), as well as, the exportation of some agricultural and industrial products. The above has permitted that the accumulation of International Reserves covers 5.0 months of good and services importations. 4.1 Type of Nominal Exchange Rate and Real Effective Exchange Rate in July of 2018, the type of nominal exchange was L23.9769 for US$1.00, displaying an interannual variation of 2.46%, superior to the one observed in the same date of 2017 (2.23%).
In the course of the year an accumulated depreciation was registered regarding the U.S. dollar of 1.65% contrary to the appreciation reported in the same period of 2017 (-4.43%). The behavior of the type of nominal exchange was influenced especially by the depreciation of the currency of some of the principal commercial associates of Honduras, primarily from Mexico and the Euro Zone- specially between May and June-, derived from the appreciation observed from the American dollar due to the modifications from the rising interests of reference from the US Federal Reserve (FED); as well as the uncertainty registered in Mexico (commercial tensions, renegotiation of the NAFTA and elections from the new government) and Italy (difficulties to form a new government, which generated by the end of march, the massive sale of sovereign bonuses and consequently the rise on spread of those values) (BCH, Flujos de Inversión Extranjera Directa, 2018).
RATINGS (MAY 2017)
*The country risk rating granted by France is taken from the following communication from the Economy and Finance Ministry of the French Republic. (Direction Générale du Trésor, 2017)