Economy in Jordan

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Economy—overview: Jordan is a small Arab country with inadequate supplies of water and other natural resources such as oil and coal. Jordan benefited from increased Arab aid during the oil boom of the late 1970s and early 1980s when its annual real GNP growth averaged more than 10%. In the remainder of the 1980s however reductions in both Arab aid and worker remittances slowed real economic growth to an average of roughly 2% per year. Imports—mainly oil capital goods consumer durables and food—outstripped exports with the difference covered by aid remittances and borrowing. In mid-1989 the Jordanian Government began debt-rescheduling negotiations and agreed to implement an IMF-supported program designed to gradually reduce the budget deficit and implement badly needed structural reforms. The Persian Gulf crisis that began in August 1990 however aggravated Jordan's already serious economic problems forcing the government to shelve the IMF program stop most debt payments and suspend rescheduling negotiations. Aid from Gulf Arab states worker remittances and trade contracted; and refugees flooded the country producing serious balance-of-payments problems stunting GDP growth and straining government resources. The economy rebounded in 1992 largely due to the influx of capital repatriated by workers returning from the Gulf but recovery was uneven in 1994-97. The government is implementing the reform program adopted in 1992 and continues to secure rescheduling and write-offs of its heavy foreign debt. Debt poverty and unemployment remain Jordan's biggest on-going problems.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$20.7 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 5.3% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$4 800 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:

agriculture: 6%

industry: 30%

services: 64% (1995 est.)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 3% (1997 est.)

Labor force:

total: 1.15 million plus 300 000 foreign workers (1997 est.)

by occupation: industry 11.4% commerce restaurants and hotels 10.5% construction 10.0% transport and communications 8.7% agriculture 7.4% other services 52.0% (1992)

Unemployment rate: 15% official rate; note—actual rate is 20%-25% (1997 est.)


revenues: $2.7 billion

expenditures: $2.8 billion including capital expenditures of $630 million (1997 est.)

Industries: phosphate mining petroleum refining cement potash light manufacturing

Industrial production growth rate: -3.4% (1996)

Electricity—capacity: 1.066 million kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 5.02 billion kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 1 259 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: wheat barley citrus tomatoes melons olives; sheep goats poultry


total value: $1.53 billion (f.o.b. 1997)

commodities: phosphates fertilizers potash agricultural products manufactures

partners: Iraq India Saudi Arabia EU Indonesia UAE


total value: $3.7 billion (c.i.f. 1997)

commodities: crude oil machinery transport equipment food live animals manufactured goods

partners: EU Iraq US Japan Turkey

Debt—external: $7.3 billion (1997 est.)

Economic aid:

recipient: ODA $424 million (1996)

Currency: 1 Jordanian dinar (JD) = 1 000 fils

Exchange rates: Jordanian dinars (JD) per US$1—0.7090 (January 1998-1996) 0.7005 (1995) 0.6987 (1994) 0.6928 (1993)

note: since May 1989 the dinar has been pegged to a basket of currencies

Fiscal year: calendar year

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