Support our Sponsor

. . Flags of the World Maps of All Countries

  • |Main Index|
  • 1990 INDEX
  • Country Ranks
  • Home PageCountry Index

    Soviet Union Economy - 1990

      Overview: The first five years of perestroyka (economic restructuring) have undermined the institutions and processes of the Soviet command economy without replacing them with efficiently functioning markets. The initial reforms featured greater authority for enterprise managers over prices, wages, product mix, investment, sources of supply, and customers. But in the absence of effective market discipline, the result was the disappearance of low-price goods, excessive wage increases, an even larger volume of unfinished construction projects, and, in general, continued economic stagnation. The Gorbachev regime has made at least four serious errors in economic

      policy in these five years: the unpopular and short-lived anti-alcohol campaign; the initial cutback in imports of consumer goods; the failure to act decisively for the privatization of agriculture; and the buildup of a massive overhang of unspent rubles in the hands of households and enterprises. In October 1989, a top economic adviser, Leonid Abalkin presented an ambitious but reasonable timetable for the conversion to a partially privatized market system in the 1990s. In December 1989, however, Premier Ryzhkov's conservative approach prevailed, namely, the contention that a period of retrenchment was necessary to provide a stable financial and legislative base for launching further reforms. Accordingly, the new strategy was to put the reform process on hold in 1990-92 by recentralizing economic authority and to placate the rank-and-file through sharp increases in consumer goods output. In still another policy twist, the leadership in early 1990 was considering a marked speedup in the marketization process. Because the economy is caught in between two systems, there was in 1989 an even greater mismatch between what was produced and what would serve the best interests of enterprises and households. Meanwhile, the seething nationality problems have been dislocating regional patterns of economic specialization and pose a further major threat to growth prospects over the next few years.

      GNP: $2,659.5 billion, per capita $9,211; real growth rate 1.4% (1989 est. based on Soviet statistics; cutbacks in Soviet reporting on products included in sample make the estimate subject to greater uncertainty than in earlier years)

      Inflation rate (consumer prices): 6% (1989 est.)

      Unemployment rate: officially, no unemployment

      Budget: revenues $622 billion; expenditures $781 billion, including capital expenditures of $119 billion (1989 est.)

      Exports: $110.7 billion (f.o.b., 1988); commodities--petroleum and petroleum products, natural gas, metals, wood, agricultural products, and a wide variety of manufactured goods (primarily capital goods and arms); partners--Eastern Europe 49%, EC 14%, Cuba 5%, US, Afghanistan (1988)

      Imports: $107.3 billion (c.i.f., 1988); commodities--grain and other agricultural products, machinery and equipment, steel products (including large-diameter pipe), consumer manufactures; partners--Eastern Europe 54%, EC 11%, Cuba, China, US (1988)

      External debt: $27.3 billion (1988)

      Industrial production: growth rate 0.2% (1989 est.)

      Electricity: 355,000,000 kW capacity; 1,790,000 million kWh produced, 6,150 kWh per capita (1989)

      Industries: diversified, highly developed capital goods and defense industries; consumer goods industries comparatively less developed

      Agriculture: accounts for roughly 20% of GNP and labor force; production based on large collective and state farms; inefficiently managed; wide range of temperate crops and livestock produced; world's second-largest grain producer after the US; shortages of grain, oilseeds, and meat; world's leading producer of sawnwood and roundwood; annual fish catch among the world's largest--11.2 million metric tons (1987)

      Illicit drugs: illegal producer of cannabis and opium poppy, mostly for domestic consumption; government has begun eradication program to control cultivation; used as a transshipment country

      Aid: donor--extended to non-Communist less developed countries (1954-88), $47.4 billion; extended to other Communist countries (1954-88), $147.6 billion

      Currency: ruble (plural--rubles); 1 ruble (R) = 100 kopeks

      Exchange rates: rubles (R) per US$1--0.600 (February 1990), 0.629 (1989), 0.629 (1988), 0.633 (1987), 0.704 (1986), 0.838 (1985); note--the exchange rate is administratively set and should not be used indiscriminately to convert domestic rubles to dollars; on 1 November 1989 the USSR began using a rate of 6.26 rubles to the dollar for Western tourists buying rubles and for Soviets traveling abroad, but retained the official exchange rate for most trade transactions

      Fiscal year: calendar year

      NOTE: The information regarding Soviet Union 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 Soviet Union Economy 1990 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Soviet Union Economy 1990 should be addressed to the CIA.

    Support Our Sponsor

    Support Our Sponsor

    Please ADD this page to your FAVORITES - - - - -

    Revised 07-Feb-03
    Copyright © 2003 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)