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Mongolia Economy 1999

    Economy—overview: The government has embraced free-market economics, freezing spending, easing price controls, liberalizing domestic and international trade. Mongolia's severe climate, scattered population, and wide expanses of unproductive land, however, have constrained economic development. Economic activity traditionally has been based on agriculture and the breeding of livestock. In past years, extensive mineral resources had been developed with Soviet support; total Soviet assistance at its height amounted to 30% of GDP, but disappeared almost overnight in 1990-91. The mining and processing of coal, copper, molybdenum, tin, tungsten, and gold account for a large part of industrial production. The Mongolian leadership has been soliciting support from foreign donors and economic growth picked up in 1997 and 1998 after stalling in 1996 due to a series of natural disasters and declines in world prices of copper and cashmere. Mongolia joined the World Trade Organization in 1997.

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$5.8 billion (1998 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: 3.5% (1998 est.)

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$2,250 (1998 est.)

    GDP—composition by sector:
    agriculture: 31%
    industry: 35%
    services: 34% (1997 est.)

    Population below poverty line: 36.3% (1995 est.)

    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: 2.9%
    highest 10%: 24.5% (1995)

    Inflation rate (consumer prices): 6% (1998)

    Labor force: 1.115 million (mid-1993 est.)

    Labor force—by occupation: primarily herding/agricultural

    Unemployment rate: 4.5% (1998)

    revenues: $260 million (1998)
    expenditures: $330 million (1998)

    Industries: copper, construction materials, mining (particularly coal); food and beverage, processing of animal products

    Industrial production growth rate: 4.5% (1997 est.)

    Electricity—production: 2.3 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—production by source:
    fossil fuel: 100%
    hydro: 0%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 0% (1996)

    Electricity—consumption: 2.681 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—exports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Electricity—imports: 381 million kWh (1996)

    Agriculture—products: wheat, barley, potatoes, forage crops; sheep, goats, cattle, camels, horses

    Exports: $316.8 million (f.o.b., 1998)

    Exports—commodities: copper, livestock, animal products, cashmere, wool, hides, fluorspar, other nonferrous metals

    Exports—partners: China 30.1%, Switzerland 21.5%, Russia 12.1%, South Korea 9.7%, US 8.1% (1998)

    Imports: $472.4 million (f.o.b., 1998)

    Imports—commodities: machinery and equipment, fuels, food products, industrial consumer goods, chemicals, building materials, sugar, tea

    Imports—partners: Russia 30.6%, China 13.3%, Japan 11.7%, South Korea 7.5%, US 6.9% (1998)

    Debt—external: $500 million (1996 est.)

    Economic aid—recipient: $250 million (1998 est.)

    Currency: 1 tughrik (Tug) = 100 mongos

    Exchange rates: tughriks (Tug) per US$1—902 (January 1999), 840.83 (1998), 789.99 (1997), 548.40 (1996), 448.61 (1995), 412.72 (1994)

    Fiscal year: calendar year

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