Turkmenistan Economy - 2021


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Economic overview

Turkmenistan is largely a desert country with intensive agriculture in irrigated oases and significant natural gas and oil resources. The two largest crops are cotton, most of which is produced for export, and wheat, which is domestically consumed. Although agriculture accounts for almost 8% of GDP, it continues to employ nearly half of the country's workforce. Hydrocarbon exports, the bulk of which is natural gas going to China, make up 25% of Turkmenistan’s GDP. Ashgabat has explored two initiatives to bring gas to new markets: a trans-Caspian pipeline that would carry gas to Europe and the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline. Both face major financing, political, and security hurdles and are unlikely to be completed soon.

Turkmenistan’s autocratic governments under presidents NIYAZOW (1991-2006) and BERDIMUHAMEDOW (since 2007) have made little progress improving the business climate, privatizing state-owned industries, combatting corruption, and limiting economic development outside the energy sector. High energy prices in the mid-2000s allowed the government to undertake extensive development and social spending, including providing heavy utility subsidies.

Low energy prices since mid-2014 are hampering Turkmenistan’s economic growth and reducing government revenues. The government has cut subsidies in several areas, and wage arrears have increased. In January 2014, the Central Bank of Turkmenistan devalued the manat by 19%, and downward pressure on the currency continues. There is a widening spread between the official exchange rate (3.5 TMM per US dollar) and the black market exchange rate (approximately 14 TMM per US dollar). Currency depreciation and conversion restrictions, corruption, isolationist policies, and declining spending on public services have resulted in a stagnate economy that is nearing crisis. Turkmenistan claims substantial foreign currency reserves, but non-transparent data limit international institutions’ ability to verify this information.

Real GDP growth rate

6.5% (2017 est.)

6.2% (2016 est.)

6.5% (2015 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

8% (2017 est.)

3.6% (2016 est.)

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$86.858 billion (2018 est.)

$103.7 billion (2017 est.)

$81.787 billion (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$40.819 billion (2018 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$14,845 (2018 est.)

$18,200 (2017 est.)

$14,205 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Gross national saving

23.9% of GDP (2017 est.)

24.3% of GDP (2016 est.)

18.9% of GDP (2015 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 7.5% (2017 est.)

industry: 44.9% (2017 est.)

services: 47.7% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 50% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 10% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 28.2% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 0% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 26.2% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -14.3% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

milk, wheat, cotton, tomatoes, potatoes, watermelons, grapes, sugar beet, beef, rice


natural gas, oil, petroleum products, textiles, food processing

Industrial production growth rate

1% (2017 est.)

Labor force

2.305 million (2013 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 48.2%

industry: 14%

services: 37.8% (2004 est.)

Unemployment rate

11% (2014 est.)

10.6% (2013)

Population below poverty line

0.2% (2012 est.)

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

40.8 (1998)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.6%

highest 10%: 31.7% (1998)


revenues: 5.657 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 6.714 billion (2017 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

14.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-2.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Public debt

28.8% of GDP (2017 est.)

24.1% of GDP (2016 est.)

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$4.359 billion (2017 est.)

-$7.207 billion (2016 est.)


$7.458 billion (2017 est.)

$6.987 billion (2016 est.)

Exports - partners

China 82% (2019)

Exports - commodities

natural gas, refined petroleum, crude petroleum, cotton fibers, fertilizers (2019)


$4.571 billion (2017 est.)

$5.215 billion (2016 est.)

Imports - partners

Turkey 25%, Russia 18%, China 14%, Germany 6% (2019)

Imports - commodities

iron products, harvesting machinery, packaged medicines, broadcasting equipment, tractors (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$24.91 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$25.05 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

Debt - external

$539.4 million (31 December 2017 est.)

$425.3 million (31 December 2016 est.)

Exchange rates

Turkmenistani manat (TMM) per US dollar -

4.125 (2017 est.)

3.5 (2016 est.)

3.5 (2015 est.)

3.5 (2014 est.)

2.85 (2013 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding Turkmenistan 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 Turkmenistan 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Turkmenistan 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.