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Albania - Open Map
Introduction | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Communication | Transportation | Military

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Economy

Economy - overview: An extremely poor country by European standards, Albania is making the difficult transition to a more open-market economy. The economy rebounded in 1993-95 after a severe depression accompanying the collapse of the previous centrally planned system in 1990 and 1991. However, a weakening of government resolve to maintain stabilization policies in the election year of 1996 contributed to renewal of inflationary pressures, spurred by the budget deficit which exceeded 12%. The collapse of financial pyramid schemes in early 1997 - which had attracted deposits from a substantial portion of Albania's population - triggered severe social unrest which led to more than 1,500 deaths, widespread destruction of property, and an 8% drop in GDP. The new government, installed in July 1997, has taken strong measures to restore public order and to revive economic activity and trade. The economy continues to be bolstered by remittances of some 20% of the labor force that works abroad, mostly in Greece and Italy. These remittances supplement GDP and help offset the large foreign trade deficit. Most agricultural land was privatized in 1992, substantially improving peasant incomes. In 1998, Albania recovered the 8% drop in GDP of 1997 and pushed ahead by 7% in 1999. International aid has helped defray the high costs of receiving and returning refugees from the Kosovo conflict.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $5.6 billion (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 8% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,650 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 54%
industry: 25%
services: 21% (1998)

Population below poverty line: 19.6% (1996 est.)

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

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 0.5% (1999 est.)

Labor force: 1.692 million (including 352,000 emigrant workers and 261,000 domestically unemployed) (1994 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 49.5%, industry and services 50.5%

Unemployment rate: 14% (October 1997) officially, but may be as high as 28%

Budget:
revenues: $393 million
expenditures: $676 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1997 est.)

Industries: food processing, textiles and clothing; lumber, oil, cement, chemicals, mining, basic metals, hydropower

Industrial production growth rate: 7% (1999 est.)

Electricity - production: 5.15 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 2.91%
hydro: 97.09%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 5.29 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 500 million kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: wheat, corn, potatoes, vegetables, fruits, sugar beets, grapes; meat, dairy products

Exports: $242 million (f.o.b., 1999 est.)

Exports - commodities: textiles and footwear; asphalt, metals and metallic ores, crude oil; vegetables, fruits, tobacco

Exports - partners: Italy 63%, Greece 12%, Germany 6%, Netherlands, Belgium, US (1998)

Imports: $925 million (f.o.b., 1999 est.)

Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, textiles, chemicals

Imports - partners: Italy 43%, Greece 29%, Turkey 4%, Germany 4%, Bulgaria, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1998)

Debt - external: $820 million (1998)

Economic aid - recipient: EU pledged $100 million to share with The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1999)

Currency: 1 lek (L) = 100 qintars

Exchange rates: leke (L) per US$1 - 135.31 (December 1999), 137.69 (1999), 150.63 (1998), 148.93 (1997), 104.50 (1996), 92.70 (1995)

Fiscal year: calendar year



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