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    Nepal Economy - 1990

      Overview: Nepal is among the poorest and least developed countries in the world with a per capita income of only $158. Real growth averaged 4% in the 1980s until FY89, when it plunged to 1.5% because of the ongoing trade/transit dispute with India. Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy, providing a livelihood for over 90% of the population and accounting for 60% of GDP and about 75% of exports. Industrial activity is limited, and what there is involves the processing of agricultural produce (jute, sugarcane, tobacco, and grain). Apart from agricultural land and forests, the only other exploitable natural resources are mica, hydropower, and tourism. Despite considerable investment in the agricultural sector, production in the 1980s has not kept pace with the population growth of 2.7%, which has led to a reduction in exportable surpluses and balance-of-payments difficulties. Economic prospects for the 1990s remain grim.

      GDP: $2.9 billion, per capita $158; real growth rate 1.5% (FY89)

      Inflation rate (consumer prices): 8.1% (FY89 est.)

      Unemployment rate: 5%; underemployment estimated at 25-40% (1987)

      Budget: revenues $296 million; expenditures $635 million, including capital expenditures of $394 million (FY89 est.)

      Exports: $374 million (f.o.b., FY89 est.), but does not include unrecorded border trade with India; commodities--clothing, carpets, leather goods, grain; partners--India 38%, US 23%, UK 6%, other Europe 9% (FY88)

      Imports: $724 million (c.i.f., FY89 est.); commodities--petroleum products 20%, fertilizer 11%, machinery 10%; partners--India 36%, Japan 13%, Europe 4%, US 1% (FY88)

      External debt: $1.3 billion (December 1989 est.)

      Industrial production: growth rate - 4.5% (FY89 est.)

      Electricity: 205,000 kW capacity; 535 million kWh produced, 30 kWh per capita (1989)

      Industries: small rice, jute, sugar, and oilseed mills; cigarette, textiles, cement, brick; tourism

      Agriculture: accounts for 60% of GDP and 90% of work force; farm products--rice, corn, wheat, sugarcane, root crops, milk, buffalo meat; not self-sufficient in food, particularly in drought years

      Illicit drugs: illicit producer of cannabis for the domestic and international drug markets

      Aid: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-88), $285 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1980-87), $1.8 billion; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $30 million; Communist countries (1970-88), $273 million

      Currency: Nepalese rupee (plural--rupees); 1 Nepalese rupee (NR) = 100 paisa

      Exchange rates: Nepalese rupees (NRs) per US$1--28.559 (January 1990), 27.189 (1989), 23.289 (1988), 21.819 (1987), 21.230 (1986), 18.246 (1985)

      Fiscal year: 16 July-15 July

      NOTE: The information regarding Nepal on this page is re-published from the 1990 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Nepal Economy 1990 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Nepal Economy 1990 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 07-Feb-03
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