Agriculture has always been important, but services now employ a larger percentage of the workforce and represent a much greater percentage of the gross domestic product. The chief commercial crops are coffee, bananas, cotton, sugarcane, and rice. Industries include food processing and the manufacture of chemicals, machinery and metal products, textiles, clothing, and footwear. There is also petroleum refining. Coffee, beef, seafood, tobacco, sugar, gold, and peanuts are the largest exports. Consumer goods, machinery and equipment, raw materials, and petroleum products are imported. The United States, El Salvador, and Costa Rica are the largest trading partners.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.