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Libya Economy

    Economy—overview: The socialist-oriented economy depends primarily upon revenues from the oil sector, which contributes practically all export earnings and about one-third of GDP. These oil revenues and a small population give Libya one of the highest per capita GDPs in Africa, but little of this income flows down to the lower orders of society. Low oil prices in 1998 cut back revenue sharply, and GDP growth fell by 1%. In this statist society, import restrictions and inefficient resource allocations have led to periodic shortages of basic goods and foodstuffs. The nonoil manufacturing and construction sectors, which account for about 20% of GDP, have expanded from processing mostly agricultural products to include the production of petrochemicals, iron, steel, and aluminum. Agriculture accounts for only 5% of GDP; it employs 18% of the labor force. Climatic conditions and poor soils severely limit farm output, and Libya imports about 75% of its food requirements. The UN sanctions imposed in April 1992 do not have a major impact on the economy although they have increased transaction and transportation costs.

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$38 billion (1998 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: -1% (1998 est.)

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$6,700 (1998 est.)

    GDP—composition by sector:
    agriculture: 5%
    industry: 55%
    services: 40% (1996 est.)

    Population below poverty line: NA%

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

    Inflation rate (consumer prices): 24.2% (1998 est.)

    Labor force: 1 million

    Labor force—by occupation: industry 31%, services 27%, government 24%, agriculture 18%

    Unemployment rate: 30% (1998 est.)

    Budget:
    revenues: $3.6 billion
    expenditures: $5.1 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1998 est.)

    Industries: petroleum, food processing, textiles, handicrafts, cement

    Industrial production growth rate: NA%

    Electricity—production: 17 billion kWh (1996)

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

    Electricity—consumption: 17 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—exports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Electricity—imports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Agriculture—products: wheat, barley, olives, dates, citrus, vegetables, peanuts; beef, eggs

    Exports: $6.8 billion (f.o.b., 1998 est.)

    Exports—commodities: crude oil, refined petroleum products, natural gas

    Exports—partners: Italy, Germany, Spain, France, Turkey, Greece, Egypt

    Imports: $6.9 billion (c.i.f., 1998 est.)

    Imports—commodities: machinery, transport equipment, food, manufactured goods

    Imports—partners: Italy, Germany, UK, France, Spain, Turkey, Tunisia, Eastern Europe

    Debt—external: $4 billion (1998 est.)

    Economic aid—recipient: $8.4 million (1995)

    Currency: 1 Libyan dinar (LD) = 1,000 dirhams

    Exchange rates: Libyan dinars (LD) per US$1—0.3799 (November 1998), 0.3891 (1997), 0.3651 (1996), 0.3532 (1995), 0.3596 (1994); official rate: 0.45 (December 1998)

    Fiscal year: calendar year

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