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Suriname Economy 1999

    Economy—overview: The economy is dominated by the bauxite industry, which accounts for more than 15% of GDP and 70% of export earnings. After assuming power in the fall of 1996, the WIJDENBOSCH government ended the structural adjustment program of the previous government, claiming it was unfair to the poorer elements of society. Tax revenues fell as old taxes lapsed and the government failed to implement new tax alternatives. By the end of 1997, the allocation of new Dutch development funds was frozen as Surinamese Government relations with the Netherlands deteriorated. Economic growth slowed in 1998, with decline in the mining, construction, and utility sectors. Suriname's economic prospects for the medium term will depend on renewed commitment to responsible monetary and fiscal policies and to the introduction of structural reforms to liberalize markets and promote competition.

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$1.48 billion (1998 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: 2% (1998 est.)

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$3,500 (1998 est.)

    GDP—composition by sector:
    agriculture: 10%
    industry: 32%
    services: 58% (1996)

    Population below poverty line: NA%

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

    Inflation rate (consumer prices): 20% (1998 est.)

    Labor force: NA

    Labor force—by occupation: agriculture NA%, industry NA%, services NA%

    Unemployment rate: 20% (1997)

    revenues: $393 million
    expenditures: $403 million, including capital expenditures of $34 million (1997 est.)

    Industries: bauxite and gold mining, alumina and aluminum production, lumbering, food processing, fishing

    Industrial production growth rate: 6.5% (1994 est.)

    Electricity—production: 1.62 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—production by source:
    fossil fuel: 19.75%
    hydro: 80.25%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 0% (1996)

    Electricity—consumption: 1.62 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—exports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Electricity—imports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Agriculture—products: paddy rice, bananas, palm kernels, coconuts, plantains, peanuts; beef, chickens; forest products; shrimp

    Exports: $548.84 million (1997)

    Exports—commodities: alumina, aluminum, crude oil, lumber, shrimp and fish, rice, bananas

    Exports—partners: Norway 24%, Netherlands 22%, US 22%, France 9.5%, Japan 7.6%, UK 6.5% (1997)

    Imports: $551.8 million (1997)

    Imports—commodities: capital equipment, petroleum, foodstuffs, cotton, consumer goods

    Imports—partners: US 48%, Netherlands 21.2%, UK 5.1%, Japan 4% (1997)

    Debt—external: $216 million (1996 est.)

    Economic aid—recipient: $76.4 million (1995); note—the Netherlands provided a $127 million aid package to Aruba and Suriname in 1996

    Currency: 1 Surinamese guilder, gulden, or florin (Sf.) = 100 cents

    Exchange rates: Surinamese guilders, gulden, or florins (Sf.) per US$1—850 (January 1999); central bank midpoint rate: 401.00 (1998), 401.00 (1997), 401.26 (1996), 442.23 (1995), 134.12 (1994); parallel rate: 800 (December 1998), 412 (December 1995), 510 (December 1994)
    note: beginning July 1994, the central bank midpoint exchange rate was unified and became market determined; during 1998, the exchange rate splintered into four distinct rates; in January 1999 the government floated the guilder

    Fiscal year: calendar year

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