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    Libya Economy - 1991

      Overview: The socialist-oriented economy depends primarily upon revenues from the oil sector, which contributes practically all export earnings and about one-third of GNP. Since 1980, however, the sharp drop in oil prices and the resulting decline in export revenues have adversely affected economic development. In 1988 per capita GNP was the highest in Africa at $5,410, but it had been $2,000 higher in 1982. Severe cutbacks in imports over the past five years have led to shortages of basic goods and foodstuffs, although the reopening of the Libyan-Tunisian border in April 1988 and the Libyan-Egyptian border in December 1989 have somewhat eased shortages. Austerity budgets and a lack of trained technicians have undermined the government's ability to implement a number of planned infrastructure development projects. Windfall profits from the hike in world oil prices in late 1990 improved the foreign payments position and may permit Tripoli to ease austerity measures. The nonoil industrial and construction sectors, which account for about 22% of GDP, have expanded from processing mostly agricultural products to include petrochemicals, iron, steel, and aluminum. Although agriculture accounts for less than 5% of GNP, it employs 18% of the labor force. Climatic conditions and poor soils severely limit farm output, requiring Libya to import about 75% of its food requirements.

      GNP: $24 billion, per capita $5,860; real growth rate 3% (1989 est.)

      Inflation rate (consumer prices): 20% (1988 est.)

      Unemployment rate: 2% (1988 est.)

      Budget: revenues $8.1 billion; expenditures $9.8 billion, including capital expenditures of $3.1 billion (1989 est.)

      Exports: $6.1 billion (f.o.b., 1989 est.); commodities--petroleum, peanuts, hides; partners--Italy, USSR, FRG, Spain, France, Belgium/Luxembourg, Turkey

      Imports: $6.2 billion (f.o.b., 1989 est.); commodities--machinery, transport equipment, food, manufactured goods; partners--Italy, USSR, FRG, UK, Japan

      External debt: $3.5 billion, excluding military debt (December 1990 est.)

      Industrial production: growth rate NA%; accounts for 43% of GDP (including oil)

      Electricity: 4,705,000 kW capacity; 13,600 million kWh produced, 3,220 kWh per capita (1990)

      Industries: petroleum, food processing, textiles, handicrafts, cement

      Agriculture: 5% of GNP; cash crops--wheat, barley, olives, dates, citrus fruits, peanuts; 75% of food is imported

      Economic aid: Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-87), $242 million; no longer a recipient

      Currency: Libyan dinar (plural--dinars); 1 Libyan dinar (LD) = 1,000 dirhams

      Exchange rates: Libyan dinars (LD) per US$1--0.2669 (January 1991), 0.2699 (1990), 0.2922 (1989), 0.2853 (1988), 0.2706 (1987), 0.3139 (1986), 0.2961 (1985)

      Fiscal year: calendar year

      NOTE: The information regarding Libya 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 Libya Economy 1991 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Libya Economy 1991 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 08-Feb-03
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