Currencies by Country:

What is the quetzal (GTQ)?

Credit Ratings & Outlook

In the latest credit ratings from December 1970, Moody's gives Guatemala a Ba1 rating, with a stable outlook. Fitch has a stable outlook with a BB+ rating. Finally, S&P last issued a BB rating, with a negative outlook.

Sovereign credit ratings play an important part in determining a country’s access to international capital markets, and the terms of that access. Sovereign ratings help to foster dramatic growth, stability, and efficiency of international and domestic markets.

GDP

In 2010 the total GDP was $41,186,395,243 in US Dollars, while the per capita GDP was $2,862. It grew by 2.78% over the previous year.

Unemployment

The latest unemployment rate for 2006 is 1.80%.

Consumer Price Index

The latest consumer price index for 2010 is 134.10.

Political Structure

The current head of the government is President Otto Pérez Molina, who is also the head of state (in an executive role).

Currency Details

The quetzal, also denoted by GTQ, is Guatemala’s original national currency whose name stems from the country’s official bird, the Quetzal. In ancient Mayan culture, the bird’s feathers were used as currency; thus, today’s currency holds a strong historical and cultural value. The quetzal, which is divided into 100 centavos, was pegged to the United States Dollar (USD) until 1979 when it assumed a floating regime. An important event in the currency’s history is that in May 2001, the quetzal acquired a parallel legal currency: the USD. Guatemala was the third Latin American country to undergo “dollarization.”

h2>Sovereign Ratings for Guatemala

Moody’s Rating
N/A
S&P Rating
BBB-

Sovereign credit ratings play an important part in determining a country’s access to international capital markets, and the terms of that access. Sovereign ratings help to foster dramatic growth, stability, and efficiency of international and domestic markets.

What does it look like?

Political Structure

The Republic of Guatemala is divided into 22 departments. There are three branches of government: the executive, the legislative, and the judicial. The President and Vice President of the Republic lead the executive branch. The legislature is a unicameral Congress consisting of 80 members that are elected to four-year terms by popular vote. The judiciary consists of the Supreme Court of Justice and the Court of Constitutionality, both of which are presided over by the President of the Supreme Court.

Prominent Figures

Chief of State President Alvaro COLOM Caballeros (since 14 January 2008); Vice President Jose Rafael ESPADA (since 14 January 2008); note – the president is both the chief of state and head of government Head of Government President Alvaro COLOM Caballeros (since 14 January 2008); Vice President Jose Rafael ESPADA (since 14 January 2008) Cabinet Council of Ministers appointed by the president Elections president elected by popular vote for a four-year term (may not serve consecutive terms); election last held 9 September 2007; runoff held 4 November 2007 (next to be held September 2011) Election Results Alvaro COLOM Caballeros elected president; percent of vote – Alvaro COLOM Caballeros 52.8%, Otto PEREZ Molina 47.2%

Key Economic Factors

Guatemala, the largest Central American country and with the highest population, has a GDP per capita that is approximately one half that of Argentina, Brazil, and Chile. The Guatemalan economy is mostly an agricultural economy that relies heavily on exports of coffee, sugar, and bananas. After years of civil war, Guatemala signed peace treaties in 1996, which ended many obstacles for foreign investment. Almost 75% of the Guatemalan population is below the poverty line. Low government revenues, poor governmental financial operations, the trade deficit, drug trafficking, and political violence continue to be problems that negatively affect Guatemala’s economy.

Have additions or corrections to this material? Let us know!