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Armenia Economy

    Economy—overview: Under the old Soviet central planning system, Armenia had developed a modern industrial sector, supplying machine tools, textiles, and other manufactured goods to sister republics in exchange for raw materials and energy. Since the implosion of the USSR in December 1991, Armenia has switched to small-scale agriculture away from the large agroindustrial complexes of the Soviet area. The agricultural sector has long-term needs for more investment and updated technology. The privatization of industry has been at a slower pace, but has been given renewed emphasis by the current administration. Armenia is a food importer, and its mineral deposits (gold, bauxite) are small. The ongoing conflict with Azerbaijan over the ethnic Armenian-dominated region of Nagorno-Karabakh and the breakup of the centrally directed economic system of the former Soviet Union contributed to a severe economic decline in the early 1990s. By 1994, however, the Armenian Government had launched an ambitious IMF-sponsored economic program that has resulted in positive growth rates in 1995-98. Armenia also managed to slash inflation and to privatize most small- and medium-sized enterprises. The chronic energy shortages Armenia suffered in recent years have been largely offset by the energy supplied by one of its nuclear power plants at Metsamor. The Russian financial crisis generated concerns about Armenia's economic performance in 1998. Although inflation dropped to 10% and GDP grew about 6%, the industrial sector remained moribund. Much of Armenia's population remains heavily dependent on remittances from relatives abroad, and remittances from Russia fell off sharply in 1998.

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$9.2 billion (1998 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: 6% (1998 est.)

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$2,700 (1998 est.)

    GDP—composition by sector:
    agriculture: 35%
    industry: 30%
    services: 35% (1998 est.)

    Population below poverty line: 50% (1998 est.)

    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%

    Inflation rate (consumer prices): 10% (1998 est.)

    Labor force: 1.6 million (1997)

    Labor force—by occupation: manufacturing, mining, and construction 25%, agriculture 38%, services 37%

    Unemployment rate: 20% (1998 est.)

    Budget:
    revenues: $322 million
    expenditures: $424 million, including capital expenditures of $80 million (1998 est.)

    Industries: much of industry is shut down; metal-cutting machine tools, forging-pressing machines, electric motors, tires, knitted wear, hosiery, shoes, silk fabric, washing machines, chemicals, trucks, watches, instruments, microelectronics

    Industrial production growth rate: NA%

    Electricity—production: 7.6 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—production by source:
    fossil fuel: 46.05%
    hydro: 26.32%
    nuclear: 27.63%
    other: 0% (1996)

    Electricity—consumption: 7.6 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—exports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Electricity—imports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Agriculture—products: fruit (especially grapes), vegetables; livestock

    Exports: $230 million (f.o.b., 1998 est.)

    Exports—commodities: gold and jewelry, aluminum, transport equipment, electrical equipment, scrap metal

    Exports—partners: Iran, Russia, Turkmenistan, Georgia

    Imports: $840 million (c.i.f., 1998 est.)

    Imports—commodities: grain, other foods, fuel, other energy

    Imports—partners: Iran, Russia, Turkmenistan, Georgia, US, EU

    Debt—external: $820 million (of which $75 million to Russia) (1997 est.)

    Economic aid—recipient: $245.5 million (1995)

    Currency: 1 dram = 100 luma

    Exchange rates: dram per US$1—535.62 (January 1999), 504.92 (1998), 490.85 (1997), 414.04 (1996), 405.91 (1995), 288.65 (1994)

    Fiscal year: calendar year

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)