The Costa Rican economy grew at 5% in 2006. Compared with its Central American neighbors, Costa Rica has achieved a high standard of living, with a per capita income of about U.S. $5,100, and an unemployment rate of 6.6%. The annual inflation rate is around 9.4%
The agriculture represents 8.6% of GDP): Products--bananas, pineapples, coffee, beef, sugar, rice, dairy products, vegetables, fruits and ornamental plants.
Industry represents 31% of GDP: Types--electronic components, food processing, textiles and apparel, construction materials, fertilizer, medical equipment.
Commerce, tourism, and services (60.4% of GDP): Hotels, restaurants, tourist services, banks, and insurance. Intel Corporation employs nearly 2,000 people at its $300 million microprocessor plant; Procter and Gamble, employs nearly 1,000 people in its administrative center for the Western Hemisphere; Hospira and Baxter Healthcare health care products industry.
Costa Rica's major economic resources are its fertile land, its well-educated population, and its location in the Central American isthmus, which provides easy access to North and South American markets and direct ocean access to the European and Asian Continents. 1/4 of Costa Rica's land is dedicated to national forests, often adjoining picturesque beaches, which has made the country a popular destination for affluent retirees and eco-tourists.
Manufacturing and industry's contribution to GDP overtook agriculture over the course of the 1990s, led by foreign investment in Costa Rica's free trade zone. Well over half of that investment has come from the United States. Dole and Chiquita have a large presence in the banana industry. Two-way trade exceeded U.S. $6.6 billion in 2004.
The country’s mountainous terrain and abundant rainfall have permitted the construction of a dozen hydroelectric power plants, making it largely self-sufficient in electricity, but it is completely reliant on imports for liquid fuels. Costa Rica has the potential to become a major electricity exporter if plans for new generating plants and a regional distribution grid are realized. Mild climate and trade winds make neither heating nor cooling necessary, particularly in the highland cities and towns where some 90% of the population lives.