The major commercial centers are Quito, Guayaquil, Cuencam and Santo Domingo do los Colorados. Importers may have headquarters in these locations, with retail branches and warehouses throughout the country. Most buyers prefer to make retail purchases directly from the manufacturers.
Rural domestic trade among the camposinos (indigenous peoples) is limited by frequent deep levels of poverty and underdevelopment. The (mostly urban) middle class is relatively moderate in size, and suffered major declines in purchasing power during the 1980s and 1990s, when economic growth faltered. Unemployment and underemployment have stimulated the growth of informal domestic economic activity.
The nation's economy is primarily based on petroleum and agricultural exports. The industrial segment, including petroleum, food processing, textiles, paper and wood products, plastics, lumber, chemicals, and fishing, primarily supplies the domestic market.
In the mountains, businesses are generally open from 8 AM to 6 PM , with a two-hour midday break; lunch hours are longer along the coast during the hottest months (December–April). Banks are usually open from 9 AM to 1:30 PM and from 2 to 6 PM during the week. Urban and suburban factories typically operated from 7 AM to 4 PM .