Economy in Greenland

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Economy—overview: Greenland suffered negative economic growth in the early 1990s but since 1993 the economy has improved. The Greenland Home Rule Government (GHRG) has pursued a light fiscal policy since the late 1980s which has helped create surpluses in the public budget and low inflation. Since 1990 Greenland has registered a foreign trade deficit following the closure of the last remaining lead and zinc mine in 1989. Greenland today is critically dependent on fishing and fish exports; the shrimp fishery is by far the largest income earner. Despite resumption of several interesting hydrocarbon and minerals exploration activities it will take several years before production can materialize. Tourism is the only sector offering any near-term potential and even this is limited due to a short season and high costs. The public sector including publicly owned enterprises and the municipalities plays the dominant role in Greenland's economy. About half the government revenues come from grants from the Danish Government an important supplement of GDP.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$945 million (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 0.6% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$16 100 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:

agriculture: NA%

industry: NA%

services: NA%

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 0.6% (1997 est.)

Labor force:

total: 24 500 (1995 est.)

Unemployment rate: 10.5% (1995 est.)


revenues: $706 million

expenditures: $697 million including capital expenditures of $NA (1995)

Industries: fish processing (mainly shrimp) handicrafts furs small shipyards

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity—capacity: 106 000 kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 245 million kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 4 253 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: forage crops small garden vegetables; sheep fish


total value: $363.4 million (f.o.b. 1995)

commodities: fish and fish products 95%

partners: Denmark 89% Japan 5% UK 5%


total value: $421 million (c.i.f. 1995)

commodities: machinery and transport equipment 25% manufactured goods 18% food and live animals 11% petroleum products 6%

partners: Denmark 7.5% Iceland 3.8% Japan 3.3% Norway 3.1% US 2.4% Germany 2.4% Sweden 1.8%

Debt—external: $243 million (1995)

Economic aid: substantial annual subsidy from Denmark—$427 million (1995)

Currency: 1 Danish krone (DKr) = 100 oere

Exchange rates: Danish kroner (DKr) per US$1—6.916 (January 1998) 6.604 (1997) 5.799 (1996) 5.602 (1995) 6.361 (1994) 6.484 (1993)

Fiscal year: calendar year

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