ECLAC’s Central America Economic Outlook for 2023

By Eddie Galdamez  |  Oct 10th, 2023

ECLAC Central America Economic Outlook. – The Economic Commission for Latin America & the Caribbean (ECLAC) expects a 3.3% economic growth for Central America in 2023.

Panama leads the Central America economic growth with a 5.1% projection. Costa Rica is second with a 3.8% projected increase, followed by Guatemala’s 3.4% and Honduras’s 3.4% economic growth outlook.

Once again, El Salvador is at the bottom of ECLAC’s growth projections for Central America, with a 2.1% estimated growth. Second to last is Nicaragua, with a 2.4% economic outlook.

ECLAC Central America Economic Outlook
2020 2021 2022 2023
Panama -17.7 15.8 10.8 5.1
Costa Rica -4.3 7.8 4.3 3.8
Guatemala -1.8 8.0 4.1 3.4
Honduras -9.0 12.5 4.0 3.4
Nicaragua -1.8 10.3 3.8 2.4
El Salvador -7.9 11.2 2.6 2.1

ECLAC’s 2023 economic projection for Central America of 3.3% growth is 0.5% less than the 3.8% expected by the International Monetary Fund, IMF.

All three organizations (ECLAC, World Bank, and IMF) outlooks show that Panama and Costa Rica will be the top two economies in Central America in 2023.

They also agree that the Salvadoran economy will have the lowest economic growth in 2023. The Salvadoran Central Reserve Bank (BCR) foresees a 2.6% economic growth for El Salvador in 2023

ECLAC foresees that the economies of the Central American region will maintain low levels of growth this year and next, affected by a very complex negative global and regional economic outlook.

Latin America and the Caribbean Economic Outlook

According to the ECLAC report, Latin America and the Caribbean will have an economic growth of 1.7% in 2023. Meanwhile, a slight decrease in the growth rate is projected for 2024 (1.5%.)

The low growth of Latin America and the Caribbean can be aggravated by the negative effects of a worsening of climate shocks, if the investments in adaptation and mitigation to climate change that countries require are not made. ECLAC Executive Secretary, Jose Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs.

According to the regional body of the United Nations, the dynamics of the world economy remain on a path of low economic growth and global trade.