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Bolivia’s dollar shortage has sparked concerns among savers and businesses

Bolivia's dollar shortage has sparked concerns among savers and businesses


Bolivia’s government is currently facing a challenging situation as they try to calm fears among savers and businesses regarding a shortage of dollars in the country. This scarcity of dollars has led to long lines outside banks, rattled local bonds, and pushed up the price of greenbacks in informal markets. This article aims to provide an overview of the causes, consequences, and government response to Bolivia’s dollar shortage.

Causes of Bolivia’s Dollar Shortage

There are several factors that contribute to Bolivia’s current dollar shortage. One of the main reasons is the decline in the price of commodities, which are the country’s main export products. Bolivia’s economy heavily depends on exports of natural gas, minerals, and agriculture products, and the decline in commodity prices has reduced the inflow of foreign currency into the country.

Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe impact on Bolivia’s economy. The country has experienced a sharp decline in tourism, which is an essential source of foreign currency, and a decline in remittances from Bolivians living abroad. Additionally, Bolivia’s current account deficit has widened, and foreign investors have withdrawn their investments due to political instability.

Consequences of Bolivia’s Dollar Shortage

The dollar shortage has had several consequences in Bolivia. First, it has created uncertainty among savers and businesses. People have been lining up outside banks to withdraw their deposits, fearing a potential devaluation of the Bolivian currency. This has led to a shortage of cash in banks, making it difficult for businesses to access credit.

Second, the shortage of dollars has had a severe impact on the country’s bond market. Bolivia’s bonds have fallen to their lowest level in 10 years, and the country has been forced to pay higher interest rates to attract investors. This has increased the country’s debt burden and made it more difficult for the government to finance its budget deficit.

Finally, the shortage of dollars has led to a surge in the price of greenbacks in informal markets. This has made it more expensive for businesses to import goods and has led to inflation, making it difficult for people to afford basic goods and services.

Government Response to Bolivia’s Dollar Shortage

The Bolivian government has implemented several measures to address the dollar shortage. First, it has imposed restrictions on the purchase of dollars, limiting the amount that people and businesses can buy. This has led to long lines outside exchange houses and banks.

Second, the government has tried to boost the inflow of foreign currency by promoting exports and attracting foreign investment. It has also implemented a program to support small and medium-sized enterprises by providing them with access to credit.

Finally, the government has reached out to international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for financial support. The IMF has approved a $346 million loan to Bolivia to support the country’s efforts to combat the economic impact of the pandemic.


In conclusion, Bolivia’s dollar shortage is a complex issue that has been caused by several factors, including the decline in commodity prices, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and political instability. The shortage of dollars has had severe consequences for the country’s economy, creating uncertainty among savers and businesses, and pushing up inflation.

The government’s response to the crisis has been a combination of measures aimed at restricting the purchase of dollars, promoting exports and foreign investment, and seeking support from international organizations.

Jack Perry is a skilled writer and financial analyst, specializing in the foreign exchange market. With years of experience in the finance industry, Jack is a sought-after contributor to, where he provides in-depth analysis and insightful commentary on the latest developments in forex trading.