In the mid to late 1990s, Haiti, under President Préval, undertook a program of economic reform. The agenda included trade liberalization, increasing fiscal responsibility, downsizing civil service, financial sector reform, and privatization of some state-owned enterprises. The privatization program stalled in 2001, a year in which GDP fell by 2.1% due to political uncertainty, low investment, a high budget deficit, and reduced capital inflow from abroad.
The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) estimates that in 2000/2001 Haiti's central government took in revenues of approximately $273 million and had expenditures of $361 million. Overall, the government registered a deficit of approximately $88 million. External debt totaled $1.2 billion.