Nepal Economy - 2021


SOURCE: 2021 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK

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Economic overview

Nepal is among the least developed countries in the world, with about one-quarter of its population living below the poverty line. Nepal is heavily dependent on remittances, which amount to as much as 30% of GDP. Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy, providing a livelihood for almost two-thirds of the population but accounting for less than a third of GDP. Industrial activity mainly involves the processing of agricultural products, including pulses, jute, sugarcane, tobacco, and grain.

Nepal has considerable scope for exploiting its potential in hydropower, with an estimated 42,000 MW of commercially feasible capacity. Nepal has signed trade and investment agreements with India, China, and other countries, but political uncertainty and a difficult business climate have hampered foreign investment. The United States and Nepal signed a $500 million Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact in September 2017 which will expand Nepal’s electricity infrastructure and help maintain transportation infrastructure.

Massive earthquakes struck Nepal in early 2015, which damaged or destroyed infrastructure and homes and set back economic development. Although political gridlock and lack of capacity have hindered post-earthquake recovery, government-led reconstruction efforts have progressively picked up speed, although many hard hit areas still have seen little assistance. Additional challenges to Nepal's growth include its landlocked geographic location, inconsistent electricity supply, and underdeveloped transportation infrastructure.

Real GDP growth rate

7.9% (2017 est.)

0.6% (2016 est.)

3.3% (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 8

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

4.5% (2017 est.)

9.9% (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 177

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$97.749 billion (2019 est.)

$91.362 billion (2018 est.)

$85.624 billion (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 93

GDP (official exchange rate)

$24.88 billion (2017 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$3,417 (2019 est.)

$3,253 (2018 est.)

$3,099 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 192

Gross national saving

48.9% of GDP (2019 est.)

48.2% of GDP (2018 est.)

46.7% of GDP (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 4

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 27% (2017 est.)

industry: 13.5% (2017 est.)

services: 59.5% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 78% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 11.7% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 33.8% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 8.7% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 9.8% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -42% (2017 est.)

Ease of Doing Business Index scores

Overall score: 63.2 (2020)

Starting a Business score: 81.7 (2020)

Trading score: 85.1 (2020)

Enforcement score: 46 (2020)

Agricultural products

rice, vegetables, sugar cane, potatoes, maize, wheat, buffalo milk, milk, fruit, mangoes/guavas

Industries

tourism, carpets, textiles; small rice, jute, sugar, and oilseed mills; cigarettes, cement and brick production

Industrial production growth rate

12.4% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 7

Labor force

16.81 million (2017 est.)

note: severe lack of skilled labor

country comparison to the world: 32

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 69%

industry: 12%

services: 19% (2015 est.)

Unemployment rate

3% (2017 est.)

3.2% (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 38

Population below poverty line

25.2% (2011 est.)

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

32.8 (2010 est.)

47.2 (2008 est.)

country comparison to the world: 133

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 3.2%

highest 10%: 29.5% (2011)

Budget

revenues: 5.925 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 5.945 billion (2017 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

23.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 122

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-0.1% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 48

Public debt

26.4% of GDP (2017 est.)

27.9% of GDP (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 171

Fiscal year

16 July - 15 July

Current account balance

-$93 million (2017 est.)

$1.339 billion (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 85

Exports

$818.7 million (2017 est.)

$761.6 million (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 168

Exports - partners

India 68%, United States 10% (2019)

Exports - commodities

palm oil, clothing and apparel, carpets, soybean oil, flavored water (2019)

Imports

$10 billion (2017 est.)

$8.764 billion (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 107

Imports - partners

India 70%, China 15% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, iron, broadcasting equipment, natural gas, rice (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$9.091 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$8.506 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 76

Debt - external

$5.849 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$4.321 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 129

Exchange rates

Nepalese rupees (NPR) per US dollar -

104 (2017 est.)

107.38 (2016 est.)

107.38 (2015 est.)

102.41 (2014 est.)

99.53 (2013 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding Nepal on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Nepal 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Nepal 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.