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Suriname
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Economy

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. Rampant government expenditures, poor tax collection, a bloated civil service, and reduced foreign aid in 1999 contributed to the fiscal deficit, estimated at 11% of GDP. The government sought to cover this deficit through monetary expansion, which led to a dramatic increase in inflation and exchange rate depreciation. 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 (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: -1% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $3,400 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 13%
industry: 22%
services: 65% (1998 est.)

Population below poverty line: NA%

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

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 170% (1999 est.)

Labor force: 100,000

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

Unemployment rate: 20% (1997)

Budget:
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: 2.008 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 24.65%
hydro: 75.35%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 1.867 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1998)

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

Exports: $406.1 million (f.o.b., 1998)

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

Exports - partners: Norway 24%, Netherlands 23.8%, US 21.7%, France 7.3%, Japan 4.9%, UK (1998 est.)

Imports: $461.4 million (f.o.b., 1998)

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

Imports - partners: US 31.2%, Netherlands 17.3%, Trinidad and Tobago 16.1%, Japan 4.3%, UK 4%, Brazil (1998)

Debt - external: $175.6 million (1998 est.)

Economic aid - recipient: Netherlands provided $37 million for project and program assistance, European Development Fund $4 million, Belgium $2 million (1998)

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

Exchange rates: Surinamese guilders, gulden, or florins (Sf.) per US$1 - 995 (December 1999), 710 (May 1999), 850 (January 1999); central bank midpoint rate: 639.50 (1st Qtr 1999), 401.00 (1998), 401.00 (1997), 401.26 (1996), 442.23 (1995); parallel rate: 1,325 (December 1999), 2000 (May 1999), 800 (December 1998), 412 (December 1995)
note: beginning in 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, but subsequently fixed it when the black-market rate plunged

Fiscal year: calendar year



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