Economy in Armenia

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Economy—overview: Under the old Soviet central planning system Armenia had developed a modern industrial sector supplying machine tools textiles and other manufactured goods to sister republics in exchange for raw materials and energy. Since the implosion of the USSR in December 1991 Armenia has switched to small-scale agriculture away from the large agroindustrial complexes of the Soviet area. The agricultural sector has long-term needs for more investment and updated technology. The privatization of industry has been at a slower pace but ahead of most of the rest of the CIS. Armenia is a food importer and its mineral deposits (gold bauxite) are small. The ongoing conflict with Azerbaijan over the ethnic Armenian-dominated region of Nagorno-Karabakh and the embargoes imposed by Azerbaijan and Turkey contributed to a severe economic decline in the early 1990s. By 1994 however the Armenian Government had launched an ambitious IMF-sponsored economic program that has resulted in positive growth rates in 1995-97. Armenia also managed to slash inflation and to privatize most small and medium-sized enterprises. The chronic energy shortages Armenia suffered in recent years has been partially offset by the energy supplied by one of its nuclear power plants at Metsamor which in 1996 supplied about 40% of the country's energy needs according to the Armenian Government. Moreover Armenia is expanding its energy imports from Iran.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$9.5 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 2.7% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$2 750 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:

agriculture: 38%

industry: 32%

services: 30% (1996 est.)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 13.2% (1997 est.)

Labor force:

total: 1.6 million (1997)

by occupation: manufacturing mining and construction 25% agriculture 38% services 37%

Unemployment rate: 10.6% officially registered unemployed but large numbers of underemployed (June 1997)

Budget:

revenues: $322 million

expenditures: $424 million including capital expenditures of $80 million (1998 est.)

Industries: much of industry is shut down; metal-cutting machine tools forging-pressing machines electric motors tires knitted wear hosiery shoes silk fabric washing machines chemicals trucks watches instruments microelectronics

Industrial production growth rate: 0.7% (1997 est.)

Electricity—capacity: 2.768 million kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 6.3 billion kWh (1996)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 1 570 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: fruit (especially grapes) vegetables; vineyards near Yerevan are famous for brandy and other liqueurs; minor livestock sector

Exports:

total value: $290 million (f.o.b. 1996)

commodities: gold and jewelry aluminum transport equipment electrical equipment scrap metal

partners: Iran Russia Turkmenistan Georgia

Imports:

total value: $727 million (c.i.f. 1996)

commodities: grain other foods fuel other energy

partners: Iran Russia Turkmenistan Georgia US EU

Debt—external: $820 million (of which $75 million to Russia) (1997 est.)

Economic aid:

recipient: ODA $NA

note: commitments (excluding Russia) $1 385 million ($675 million in disbursements) (1992-95)

Currency: 1 dram = 100 luma (introduced new currency in November 1993)

Exchange rates: dram per US$1—499.89 (November 1997) 414.04 (1996) 405.91 (1995) 288.65 (1994) 9.11 (1993)

Fiscal year: calendar year

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