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Kazakhstan Economy

    Economy—overview: Kazakhstan, the second largest of the former Soviet republics in territory, possesses enormous untapped fossil fuel reserves as well as plentiful supplies of other minerals and metals. It also has considerable agricultural potential with its vast steppe lands accommodating both livestock and grain production. Kazakhstan's industrial sector rests on the extraction and processing of these natural resources and also on a relatively large machine building sector specializing in construction equipment, tractors, agricultural machinery, and some defense items. The breakup of the USSR and the collapse of demand for Kazakhstan's traditional heavy industry products have resulted in a sharp contraction of the economy since 1991, with the steepest annual decline occurring in 1994. In 1995-97 the pace of the government program of economic reform and privatization quickened, resulting in a substantial shifting of assets into the private sector. The December 1996 signing of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium agreement to build a new pipeline from western Kazakhstan's Tengiz oil field to the Black Sea increases prospects for substantially larger oil exports in several years. Kazakhstan's economy turned downward in 1998 with a 2.5% decline in GDP growth due to slumping oil prices and the August financial crisis in Russia. 1999 will also be a difficult year.

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$52.9 billion (1998 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: -2.5% (1998 est.)

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$3,100 (1998 est.)

    GDP—composition by sector:
    agriculture: 11.5%
    industry: 32.6%
    services: 55.9% (1997 est.)

    Population below poverty line: NA%

    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: 3.1%
    highest 10%: 24.9% (1993)

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

    Labor force: 8.8 million (1997)

    Labor force—by occupation: industry 27%, agriculture and forestry 23%, other 50% (1996)

    Unemployment rate: 13.7% (1998 est.)

    Budget:
    revenues: $2.9 billion
    expenditures: $4.2 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1998 est.)

    Industries: oil, coal, iron ore, manganese, chromite, lead, zinc, copper, titanium, bauxite, gold, silver, phosphates, sulfur, iron and steel, nonferrous metal, tractors and other agricultural machinery, electric motors, construction materials; much of industrial capacity is shut down and/or is in need of repair

    Industrial production growth rate: -2.1% (1998 est.)

    Electricity—production: 52 billion kWh (1997)

    Electricity—production by source:
    fossil fuel: 86.3%
    hydro: 13.6%
    nuclear: 0.1%
    other: 0% (1997)

    Electricity—consumption: 64.34 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—exports: 1.75 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—imports: 8.5 billion kWh (1996)

    Agriculture—products: grain (mostly spring wheat), cotton; wool, livestock

    Exports: $6.3 billion (1998 est.)

    Exports—commodities: oil, ferrous and nonferrous metals, chemicals, grain, wool, meat, coal

    Exports—partners: Russia, UK, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Netherlands, China, Italy, Germany (1997)

    Imports: $7.4 billion (1998 est.)

    Imports—commodities: machinery and parts, industrial materials, oil and gas, consumer goods

    Imports—partners: Russia, Ukraine, US, Uzbekistan, Turkey, UK, Germany, South Korea (1997)

    Debt—external: $3.1 billion (1998 est.)

    Economic aid—recipient: $409.6 million (1995)

    Currency: 1 Kazakhstani tenge = 100 tiyn

    Exchange rates: tenges per US$1—85.2 (February 1999), 78.30 (1998), 75.44 (1997), 67.30 (1996), 60.95 (1995), 35.54 (1994)

    Fiscal year: calendar year

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