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    World Economy - 1991

      Overview: In 1990 the world economy grew at an estimated 1.0%, considerably lower than the estimated 3.0% for 1989 and the 3.4% for 1988. The technologically advanced areas--North America, Japan, and Western Europe--together account for 67% of the gross world product (GWP) of $20.9 trillion; these developed areas grew in the aggregate at 2.3% in 1990. In contrast, output in the USSR and Eastern Europe fell an average of 5.2%; these countries account for 15% of GWP. Experience in the developing countries continued mixed, with the newly industrializing economies generally maintaining their rapid growth, and many others struggling with debt, rampant inflation, and inadequate investment. This third group contributed 18% of GWP and grew on average 2.3% in 1990; output in this group is probably understated because of lack of data and the method of calculation used. The year 1990 witnessed continued political and economic upheavals in the USSR and Eastern Europe, which are in between systems, lacking both the rough discipline of the command economy and the institutions of the market economy. As for prospects in the 1990s, the addition of nearly 100 million people a year to an already overcrowded globe will exacerbate the problems of pollution, desertification, underemployment, epidemics, and famine.

      GWP (gross world product): $20.9 trillion, per capita $3,930; real growth rate 1.0% (1990 est.)

      Inflation rate (consumer prices): developed countries 5%; developing countries 100%, with wide variations (1990 est.)

      Unemployment rate: NA%

      Exports: $3.33 trillion (f.o.b., 1990 est.); commodities--the whole range of industrial and agricultural goods and services; partners--in value, 74% of exports from industrial countries

      Imports: $3.45 trillion (c.i.f., 1990 est.); commodities--the whole range of industrial and agricultural goods and services; partners--in value, about 75% of imports by the industrial countries

      External debt: $1.0 trillion for less developed countries (1990 est.)

      Industrial production: growth rate 3% (1990 est.)

      Electricity: 2,864,000,000 kW capacity; 11,450,000 million kWh produced, 2,150 kWh per capita (1990)

      Industries: chemicals, energy, machinery, electronics, metals, mining, textiles, food processing

      Agriculture: cereals (wheat, maize, rice), sugar, livestock products, tropical crops, fruit, vegetables, fish

      Economic aid: NA

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

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    Revised 08-Feb-03
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