Haiti Economy

Haiti Economy


  • Basic data
  • Public finances and the state budget
  • Banking system
  • Tax System

Basic data

The Haitian economy already experienced a 1.7% drop in 2019 and 3.5% in 2020 due to the pandemic. The service sector accounts for 57% of GDP, agriculture and fishing for 22% and industry for 20%. Political and institutional instability in the country, the absence of economic reforms and a budget framework, the coronavirus pandemic have exacerbated existing economic problems such as public finance deficit, high inflation and lack of infrastructure. GDP per capita is very low, making Haiti the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Inflation rose to 22.9% in 2020. The trade balance has been negative for a long time. Exports decreased in 2020 compared to the previous year by USD 0.3 billion to a total of USD 0.9 billion and imports by USD 1 billion to USD billion. Haiti ranks in the 7th, i.e. the worst, credit risk category according to the OECD. Check ebizdir for economical facts of Haiti.

Pointer 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
GDP growth (%) 1.7 -1.7 -3.5 2.0 1.5
GDP/population (USD/PPP) 3070.0 3030.0 2,950.0 3020.0 3080.0
Inflation (%) 12.5 18.7 22.9 16.5 11.7
Unemployment (%) 13.6 13.5 14.5 ON ON
Export of goods (billion USD) 1.1 1.2 0.9 1.0 1.2
Import of goods (billion USD) 4.6 3.8 2.8 3.8 4.3
Trade Balance (Billion USD) -3.5 -2.6 -1.9 -2.7 -3.0
Industrial production (% change) ON ON ON ON ON
Population (millions) 11.1 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.7
Competitiveness 138/140 138/141 ON ON ON
OECD export risk 7/7 7/7 7/7 7/7 ON

Source: EIU, OECD, WEF

Public finance and state budget

Public finance
State budget balance (% of GDP) -5.3
Public debt (% of GDP) 54.36%
Current account balance (billion USD) 0.2
AFTER 10-35%
F.O 10-35%
VAT 10%

The Haitian economy is highly dependent on external funding, with nearly 60% of the Haitian budget financed through foreign aid. In addition, remittances sent by Haitians living abroad account for up to 30% of the country’s GDP, the most of any country in the world.

After Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and the 2017 hurricane season, public spending on rebuilding critical infrastructure increased. Public debt in 2020 reached 54% of GDP, which is 7% more than in the previous year.

Banking system

Haiti’s banking system suffers from instability and low credibility. Banks in Haiti regularly fail and most Haitians do not have access to loans of any kind. Haiti has had a central bank (Banque de la République d’Haïti) since 1979, which oversees 10 commercial banks and two foreign banks operating in the country. Most banking transactions take place in the capital, Port-au-Prince. The three main banking institutions (Unibank, Sogebank and BNC) hold 80% of the total assets of the banking sector. Foreigners’ access to the domestic credit market has no legal restrictions. The banking sector is extremely conservative in its lending practices. Banks usually lend only to their most trusted clients.

Tax system

Individuals and legal entities are taxed in Haiti according to a progressive scale ranging from 10% to 35%. Progressive income tax is the most important direct tax. The highest property tax rate is 15%. Indirect taxes include Value Added Tax (VAT) at a standard rate of 10%, increased from 7% in 1985. There are also a number of excise taxes with varying rates.

Haiti Economy