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Kyrgyzstan Economy

    Economy—overview: Kyrgyzstan is a small, poor, mountainous country with a predominantly agricultural economy. Cotton, wool, and meat are the main agricultural products and exports. Industrial exports include gold, mercury, uranium, and hydropower. Kyrgyzstan has been one of the most progressive countries of the former Soviet Union in carrying out market reforms. Following a successful stabilization program, which lowered inflation from 88% in 1994 to 15% for 1997, attention is turning toward stimulating growth. Much of the government's stock in enterprises has been sold. Drops in production have been severe since the breakup of the Soviet Union in December 1991, but by mid-1995 production began to recover and exports began to increase. Pensioners, unemployed workers, and government workers with salary arrears continue to suffer. Foreign assistance played a substantial role in the country's economic turnaround in 1996-97. The government has adopted a series of measures to combat some of the severe economic problems such as excessive debt and inadequate revenue collection, encountered in 1998.

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$9.8 billion (1998 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: 1.8% (1998 est.)

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$2,200 (1998 est.)

    GDP—composition by sector:
    agriculture: 47%
    industry: 12%
    services: 41% (1996 est.)

    Population below poverty line: 40% (1993 est.)

    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: 2.7%
    highest 10%: 26.2% (1993)

    Inflation rate (consumer prices): 18.4% (1998 est.)

    Labor force: 1.7 million

    Labor force—by occupation: agriculture and forestry 40%, industry and construction 19%, other 41% (1995 est.)

    Unemployment rate: 6% 1998 est.)

    Budget:
    revenues: $225 million
    expenditures: $308 million, including capital expenditures of $11 million (1996 est.)

    Industries: small machinery, textiles, food processing, cement, shoes, sawn logs, refrigerators, furniture, electric motors, gold, rare earth metals

    Industrial production growth rate: 14% (1998 est.)
    note: the gold industry spurted in 1998 giving industry as a whole a boost on a small base while the rest of the economy, including agriculture, lagged

    Electricity—production: 13.49 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—production by source:
    fossil fuel: 9.56%
    hydro: 90.44%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 0% (1996)

    Electricity—consumption: 10.92 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—exports: 6.32 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—imports: 3.75 billion kWh (1996)

    Agriculture—products: tobacco, cotton, potatoes, vegetables, grapes, fruits and berries; sheep, goats, cattle, wool

    Exports: $630 million (1998 est.)

    Exports—commodities: cotton, wool, meat, tobacco; gold, mercury, uranium, hydropower; machinery; shoes

    Exports—partners: China, UK, FSU

    Imports: $670 million (1998 est.)

    Imports—commodities: grain, lumber, industrial products, ferrous metals, fuel, machinery, textiles, footwear

    Imports—partners: Turkey, Cuba, US, Germany

    Debt—external: $935 million (1997 est.)

    Economic aid—recipient: $329.4 million (1995)

    Currency: 1 Kyrgyzstani som (KGS) = 100 tyiyn

    Exchange rates: soms (KGS) per US$1—30.25 (February 1999), 20.838 (1998), 17.362 (1997), 12.810 (1996), 10.822 (1995), 10.842 (1994)

    Fiscal year: calendar year

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