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    Korea, North Index 2006

    Korea, North Main Index

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    Korea, North Economy - 2006

      Economy - overview:
      North Korea, one of the world's most centrally planned and isolated economies, faces desperate economic conditions. Industrial capital stock is nearly beyond repair as a result of years of underinvestment and shortages of spare parts. Industrial and power output have declined in parallel. Despite an increased harvest in 2005 because of more stable weather conditions, fertilizer assistance from South Korea, and an extraordinary mobilization of the population to help with agricultural production, the nation has suffered its 11th year of food shortages because of on-going systemic problems, including a lack of arable land, collective farming practices, and chronic shortages of tractors and fuel. Massive international food aid deliveries have allowed the people of North Korea to escape mass starvation since famine threatened in 1995, but the population continues to suffer from prolonged malnutrition and poor living conditions. Large-scale military spending eats up resources needed for investment and civilian consumption. In 2004, the regime formalized an arrangement whereby private "farmers markets" were allowed to begin selling a wider range of goods. It also permitted some private farming on an experimental basis in an effort to boost agricultural output. In October 2005, the regime reversed some of these policies by forbidding private sales of grains and reinstituting a centralized food rationing system. In December 2005, the regime confirmed that it intended to carry out earlier threats to terminate all international humanitarian assistance operations in the DPRK (calling instead for developmental assistance only) and to restrict the activities of international and non-governmental aid organizations such as the World Food Program. Firm political control remains the Communist government's overriding concern, which will likely inhibit the loosening of economic regulations.

      GDP (purchasing power parity):
      $40 billion
      note: North Korea does not publish any reliable National Income Accounts data; the datum shown here is derived from purchasing power parity (PPP) GDP estimates for North Korea that were made by Angus Maddison in a study conducted for the OECD; his figure for 1999 was extrapolated to 2005 using estimated real growth rates for North Korea's GDP and an inflation factor based on the US GDP deflator; the result was rounded to the nearest $10 billion (2005 est.)

      GDP (official exchange rate):

      GDP - real growth rate:
      1% (2005 est.)

      GDP - per capita (PPP):
      $1,800 (2005 est.)

      GDP - composition by sector:
      agriculture: 30%
      industry: 34%
      services: 36% (2002 est.)

      Labor force:
      9.6 million

      Labor force - by occupation:
      agriculture: 36%
      industry and services: 64%

      Unemployment rate:

      Population below poverty line:

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

      Inflation rate (consumer prices):

      revenues: $NA
      expenditures: $NA

      Agriculture - products:
      rice, corn, potatoes, soybeans, pulses; cattle, pigs, pork, eggs

      military products; machine building, electric power, chemicals; mining (coal, iron ore, magnesite, graphite, copper, zinc, lead, and precious metals), metallurgy; textiles, food processing; tourism

      Industrial production growth rate:

      Electricity - production:
      18.75 billion kWh (2003)

      Electricity - consumption:
      17.43 billion kWh (2003)

      Electricity - exports:
      0 kWh (2003)

      Electricity - imports:
      0 kWh (2003)

      Oil - production:
      0 bbl/day (2004 est.)

      Oil - consumption:
      25,000 bbl/day (2003)

      Oil - exports:
      NA bbl/day

      Oil - imports:
      22,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)

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

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

      $1.275 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)

      Exports - commodities:
      minerals, metallurgical products, manufactures (including armaments), textiles, fishery products

      Exports - partners:
      China 45.6%, South Korea 20.2%, Japan 12.9% (2004)

      $2.819 billion c.i.f. (2004 est.)

      Imports - commodities:
      petroleum, coking coal, machinery and equipment, textiles, grain

      Imports - partners:
      China 32.9%, Thailand 10.7%, Japan 4.8% (2004)

      Debt - external:
      $12 billion (1996 est.)

      Economic aid - recipient:
      $NA; note - approximately 350,000 metric tons in food aid, worth approximately $118 million, through the World Food Program appeal in 2004, plus additional aid from bilateral donors and non-governmental organizations

      Currency (code):
      North Korean won (KPW)

      Exchange rates:
      official: North Korean won per US dollar - 170 (December 2004), 150 (December 2002), 2.15 (December 2001); market: North Korean won per US dollar - 300-600 (December 2002)

      Fiscal year:
      calendar year

      NOTE: The information regarding Korea, North 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 Korea, North Economy 2006 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Korea, North Economy 2006 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 06-Jun-06
    Copyright © 2006 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)