Albania Economy: from the All Country Info reference guide to country facts

Albania Economy

Albania Economy: A summary of information about Albania Economy, from government research data as well as independent research and other sources.

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Albania: Economy

Economy - overview
An extremely poor country by European standards,
Albania is making the difficult transition to a more open-market
economy. The economy rebounded in 1993-95 after a severe depression
accompanying the collapse of the previous centrally planned system in
1990 and 1991. However, a weakening of government resolve to maintain
stabilization policies in the election year of 1996 contributed to
renewal of inflationary pressures, spurred by the budget deficit which
exceeded 12%. The collapse of financial pyramid schemes in early 1997
- which had attracted deposits from a substantial portion of Albania's
population - triggered severe social unrest which led to more than
1,500 deaths, widespread destruction of property, and an 8% drop in
GDP. The new government, installed in July 1997, has taken strong
measures to restore public order and to revive economic activity and
trade. The economy continues to be bolstered by remittances of some
20% of the labor force that works abroad, mostly in Greece and Italy.
These remittances supplement GDP and help offset the large foreign
trade deficit. Most agricultural land was privatized in 1992,
substantially improving peasant incomes. In 1998, Albania recovered
the 8% drop in GDP of 1997 and pushed ahead by 7% in 1999.
International aid has helped defray the high costs of receiving and
returning refugees from the Kosovo conflict.
GDP
purchasing power parity - $5.6 billion (1999 est.)
GDP - real growth rate
8% (1999 est.)
GDP - per capita
purchasing power parity - $1,650 (1999 est.)
GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 54%
industry: 25%
services: 21% (1998)
Population below poverty line
19.6% (1996 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
0.5% (1999 est.)
Labor force
1.692 million (including 352,000 emigrant workers and
261,000 domestically unemployed) (1994 est.)
Labor force - by occupation
agriculture 49.5%, industry and services
50.5%
Unemployment rate
14% (October 1997) officially, but may be as high
as 28%
Budget
revenues: $393 million
expenditures: $676 million, including capital expenditures of $NA
(1997 est.)
Industries
food processing, textiles and clothing; lumber, oil,
cement, chemicals, mining, basic metals, hydropower
Industrial production growth rate
7% (1999 est.)
Electricity - production
5.15 billion kWh (1998)
Electricity - production by source
fossil fuel: 2.91%
hydro: 97.09%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1998)
Electricity - consumption
5.29 billion kWh (1998)
Electricity - exports
0 kWh (1998)
Electricity - imports
500 million kWh (1998)
Agriculture - products
wheat, corn, potatoes, vegetables, fruits,
sugar beets, grapes; meat, dairy products
Exports
$242 million (f.o.b., 1999 est.)
Exports - commodities
textiles and footwear; asphalt, metals and
metallic ores, crude oil; vegetables, fruits, tobacco
Exports - partners
Italy 63%, Greece 12%, Germany 6%, Netherlands,
Belgium, US (1998)
Imports
$925 million (f.o.b., 1999 est.)
Imports - commodities
machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, textiles,
chemicals
Imports - partners
Italy 43%, Greece 29%, Turkey 4%, Germany 4%,
Bulgaria, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1998)
Debt - external
$820 million (1998)
Economic aid - recipient
EU pledged $100 million to share with The
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1999)
Currency
1 lek (L) = 100 qintars
Exchange rates
leke (L) per US$1 - 135.31 (December 1999), 137.69
(1999), 150.63 (1998), 148.93 (1997), 104.50 (1996), 92.70 (1995)
Fiscal year
calendar year
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