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    Cuba Economy - 1991

      Overview: The economy, centrally planned and largely state owned, is highly dependent on the agricultural sector and foreign trade. Sugar provides about 75% of export revenues and over half is exported to the USSR. The economy has stagnated since 1985 under policies that have deemphasized material incentives in the workplace, abolished farmers' informal produce markets, and raised prices of government-supplied goods and services. In 1990 the economy probably fell 3%, largely as a result of declining trade with the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Recently the government has been trying to increase trade with Latin America and China. Cuba has had difficulty servicing its foreign debt since 1982. The government currently is encouraging foreign investment in tourist facilities. Other investment priorities include sugar, basic foods, and nickel. The annual $4 billion Soviet subsidy, a main prop to Cuba's threadbare economy, is likely to show a substantial decline over the next few years in view of the USSR's mounting economic problems. Instead of highly subsidized trade, Cuba will be shifting to trade at market prices in convertible currencies. In early 1991, the shortages of fuels, spare parts, and industrial products in general had become so severe as to amount to a deindustrialization process in the eyes of some observers.

      GNP: $20.9 billion, per capita $2,000; real growth rate - 3% (1990 est.)

      Inflation rate (consumer prices): NA%

      Unemployment: 6% overall, 10% for women (1989)

      Budget: revenues $12.46 billion; expenditures $14.45 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1990 est.)

      Exports: $5.4 billion (f.o.b., 1989); commodities--sugar, nickel, shellfish, citrus, tobacco, coffee; partners--USSR 67%, GDR 6%, China 4% (1988)

      Imports: $8.1 billion (c.i.f., 1989); commodities--capital goods, industrial raw materials, food, petroleum; partners--USSR 71%, other Communist countries 15% (1988)

      External debt: $6.8 billion (convertible currency, July 1989)

      Industrial production: 3% (1988); accounts for 45% of GDP

      Electricity: 3,890,000 kW capacity; 16,267 million kWh produced, 1,530 kWh per capita (1990)

      Industries: sugar milling, petroleum refining, food and tobacco processing, textiles, chemicals, paper and wood products, metals (particularly nickel), cement, fertilizers, consumer goods, agricultural machinery

      Agriculture: accounts for 11% of GNP (including fishing and forestry); key commercial crops--sugarcane, tobacco, and citrus fruits; other products--coffee, rice, potatoes, meat, beans; world's largest sugar exporter; not self-sufficient in food (excluding sugar)

      Economic aid: Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-88), $695 million; Communist countries (1970-89), $18.5 billion

      Currency: Cuban peso (plural--pesos); 1 Cuban peso (Cu$) = 100 centavos

      Exchange rates: Cuban pesos (Cu$) per US$1--1.0000 (linked to the US dollar)

      Fiscal year: calendar year

      NOTE: The information regarding Cuba on this page is re-published from the 1991 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Cuba Economy 1991 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Cuba Economy 1991 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 08-Feb-03
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