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    Nepal Economy - 1991

      Overview: Nepal is among the poorest and least developed countries in the world with a per capita income of less than $200. Real growth averaged 4% in the 1980s until FY89, when it plunged to 1.5% because of a trade/transit dispute with India. Though the impasse is over, political turmoil and inflated energy costs will probably constrain growth to under 4%. Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy, providing a livelihood for over 90% of the population and accounting for 60% of GDP. Industrial activity is limited, mainly involving the processing of agricultural produce (jute, sugarcane, tobacco, and grain). Production of textiles and carpets has expanded recently and accounted for 87% of foreign exchange earnings in FY89. Apart from agricultural land and forests, the only other exploitable natural resources are mica, hydropower, and tourism. Agricultural production in the late 1980s grew by about 5%, compared with a population growth of 2.6%. Forty percent or more of the population is undernourished partly because of poor distribution. Economic prospects for the 1990s are poor, with economic growth probably outpacing population growth only slightly.

      GDP: $3.0 billion, per capita $160; real growth rate 2.1% (FY90)

      Inflation rate (consumer prices): 10.0% (FY90 est.)

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

      Budget: revenues $316.5 million; expenditures $618.5 million, including capital expenditures of $398 (FY91 est.)

      Exports: $125 million (f.o.b., FY90), 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: $454.3illion (c.i.f., FY90 est.); commodities--petroleum products 20%, fertilizer 11%, machinery 10%; partners--India 36%, Japan 13%, Europe 4%, US 1% (FY88)

      External debt: $2.5 billion (April 1990 est.)

      Industrial production: growth rate 6% (FY90 est.); accounts for 7% of GDP

      Electricity: 280,000 kW capacity; 540 million kWh produced, 30 kWh per capita (1990)

      Industries: small rice, jute, sugar, and oilseed mills; cigarette, textiles, carpets, 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

      Economic aid: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-89), $304 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1980-88), $2.0 billion; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $30 million; Communist countries (1970-89), $286 million

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

      Exchange rates: Nepalese rupees (NRs) per US$1--30.805 (January 1991), 29.370 (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 1991 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Nepal Economy 1991 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Nepal Economy 1991 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 08-Feb-03
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