QCOSTARICA – Costa Rica’s economic freedom score is 66.9, making its economy the 53rd freest in the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom. Its overall score remains virtually unchanged from last year, with improvements in freedom from corruption, business freedom, and momentary freedom offset by the erosion of labor freedom, fiscal freedom, and trade freedom.
Costa Rica is ranked 9th out of 29 countries in the South and Central America/Caribbean region, and its overall score is higher than the global and regional averages.
In Central America, Costa Rica tops the list in ranking, followed by El Salvador (59), Panama (71), Nicaragua (102), Honduras (112), and Belize (115)
Over the 20-year history of the Index, Costa Rica has been consistently rated a “moderately free” economy. Improvements in three of the country’s 10 economic freedoms, including trade freedom and monetary freedom, have been offset by deteriorations in labor freedom, business freedom, and fiscal freedom, and its overall score has declined over the 20-year period by 1.1 points.
According to the Index, Costa Rica continues to lag in promoting the effective rule of law. The judicial system, while transparent, remains vulnerable to political interference, and property rights are not strongly protected. Lingering corruption further undermines the emergence of more vibrant economic activity.