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    Eritrea Index 2006

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    Eritrea Economy - 2006

      Economy - overview:
      Since independence from Ethiopia in 1993, Eritrea has faced the economic problems of a small, desperately poor country. Like the economies of many African nations, the economy is largely based on subsistence agriculture, with 80% of the population involved in farming and herding. The Ethiopian-Eritrea war in 1998-2000 severely hurt Eritrea's economy. GDP growth fell to zero in 1999 and to -12.1% in 2000. The May 2000 Ethiopian offensive into northern Eritrea caused some $600 million in property damage and loss, including losses of $225 million in livestock and 55,000 homes. The attack prevented planting of crops in Eritrea's most productive region, causing food production to drop by 62%. Even during the war, Eritrea developed its transportation infrastructure, asphalting new roads, improving its ports, and repairing war-damaged roads and bridges. Since the war ended, the government has maintained a firm grip on the economy, expanding the use of the military and party-owned businesses to complete Eritrea's development agenda. Erratic rainfall and the delayed demobilization of agriculturalists from the military kept cereal production well below normal, holding down growth in 2002-05. Eritrea's economic future depends upon its ability to master social problems such as illiteracy, unemployment, and low skills, as well as the willingness to open its economy to private enterprise so that the diaspora's money and expertise can foster economic growth.

      GDP (purchasing power parity):
      $4.471 billion (2005 est.)

      GDP (official exchange rate):
      $1.244 billion (2005 est.)

      GDP - real growth rate:
      2% (2005 est.)

      GDP - per capita (PPP):
      $1,000 (2005 est.)

      GDP - composition by sector:
      agriculture: 8.7%
      industry: 26.3%
      services: 65% (2005 est.)

      Labor force:

      Labor force - by occupation:
      agriculture: 80%
      industry and services: 20%

      Unemployment rate:

      Population below poverty line:
      50% (2004 est.)

      Household income or consumption by percentage share:
      lowest 10%: NA%
      highest 10%: NA%

      Inflation rate (consumer prices):
      15% (2005 est.)

      Investment (gross fixed):
      26.8% of GDP (2005 est.)

      revenues: $248.8 million
      expenditures: $409.4 million; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)

      Agriculture - products:
      sorghum, lentils, vegetables, corn, cotton, tobacco, coffee, sisal; livestock, goats; fish

      food processing, beverages, clothing and textiles, salt, cement, commercial ship repair

      Industrial production growth rate:

      Electricity - production:
      270.9 million kWh (2003)

      Electricity - consumption:
      251.9 million kWh (2003)

      Electricity - exports:
      0 kWh (2003)

      Electricity - imports:
      0 kWh (2003)

      Oil - production:
      0 bbl/day (2003 est.)

      Oil - consumption:
      4,600 bbl/day (2003 est.)

      Oil - exports:
      NA bbl/day

      Oil - imports:
      NA bbl/day

      Natural gas - production:
      0 cu m (2003 est.)

      Natural gas - consumption:
      0 cu m (2003 est.)

      Current account balance:
      -$278.7 million (2005 est.)

      $33.58 million f.o.b. (2005 est.)

      Exports - commodities:
      livestock, sorghum, textiles, food, small manufactures (2000)

      Exports - partners:
      Malaysia 21.3%, Italy 13.7%, Egypt 8.3%, India 7.8%, Japan 6.4%, Germany 5.5%, China 4%, UK 4% (2004)

      $676.5 million f.o.b. (2005 est.)

      Imports - commodities:
      machinery, petroleum products, food, manufactured goods (2000)

      Imports - partners:
      Ireland 25.7%, US 17.9%, Italy 16%, Turkey 6.2% (2004)

      Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
      $32.6 million (2005 est.)

      Debt - external:
      $311 million (2000 est.)

      Economic aid - recipient:
      $77 million (1999)

      Currency (code):
      nakfa (ERN)

      Exchange rates:
      nakfa (ERN) per US dollar - 14.5 (2005), 13.788 (2004), 13.878 (2003), 13.958 (2002), 11.31 (2001)

      Fiscal year:
      calendar year

      NOTE: The information regarding Eritrea on this page is re-published from the 2006 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Eritrea Economy 2006 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Eritrea Economy 2006 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 06-Jun-06
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