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Moldova Economy

    Economy—overview: Moldova enjoys a favorable climate and good farmland but has no major mineral deposits. As a result, the economy depends heavily on agriculture, featuring fruits, vegetables, wine, and tobacco. Moldova must import all of its supplies of oil, coal, and natural gas, largely from Russia. Energy shortages contributed to sharp production declines after the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. The Moldovan Government has recently been making progress on an ambitious economic reform agenda. As part of its reform efforts, Moldova introduced a stable convertible currency, freed all prices, stopped issuing preferential credits to state enterprises and backed steady land privatization, removed export controls, and freed interest rates. In 1998, the economic troubles of Russia, with whom Moldova conducts 55% of its trade, was a major cause of the 8.6% drop in GDP. In 1999, the IMF resumed payment on Moldova's Extended Fund Facility, which had been suspended since 1997. The IMF intends to grant $135 million in 1999.

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$10 billion (1998 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: -8.6% (1998 est.)

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$2,200 (1998 est.)

    GDP—composition by sector:
    agriculture: 30%
    industry: 29%
    services: 41% (1997)

    Population below poverty line: NA%

    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: 2.7%
    highest 10%: 25.8% (1992)

    Inflation rate (consumer prices): 18.3% (1998 est.)

    Labor force: 1.7 million (1998)

    Labor force—by occupation: agriculture 40.2%, industry 14.3%, other 45.5% (1998)

    Unemployment rate: 2% (includes only officially registered unemployed; large numbers of underemployed workers) (September 1998)

    Budget:
    revenues: $536 million
    expenditures: $594 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1998 est.)

    Industries: food processing, agricultural machinery, foundry equipment, refrigerators and freezers, washing machines, hosiery, sugar, vegetable oil, shoes, textiles

    Industrial production growth rate: -5% (1998 est.)

    Electricity—production: 8.325 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—production by source:
    fossil fuel: 96.1%
    hydro: 3.9%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 0% (1996)

    Electricity—consumption: 6.825 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—exports: 3.1 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—imports: 1.6 billion kWh (1996)

    Agriculture—products: vegetables, fruits, wine, grain, sugar beets, sunflower seed, tobacco; beef, milk

    Exports: $633 million (f.o.b., 1998)

    Exports—commodities: foodstuffs, wine, tobacco, textiles and footwear, machinery

    Exports—partners: Russia 58%, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Belarus, Romania, US, Germany, Italy (1997)

    Imports: $1.02 billion (f.o.b., 1998)

    Imports—commodities: oil, gas, coal, steel, machinery, chemical products, metals, metal products, foodstuffs, automobiles, other consumer durables

    Imports—partners: Russia 26%, Ukraine 20%, Belarus, Romania, Germany, Italy (1997)

    Debt—external: more than $1.2 billion (February 1999)

    Economic aid—recipient: $100.8 million (1995); note—$547 million from the IMF and World Bank (1992-99)

    Currency: the Moldovan leu (MLD) (plural lei) was introduced in late 1993

    Exchange rates: lei (MLD) per US$1 (end of period)—8.3226 (December 1998), 8.3395 (1998), 4.6605 (1997), 4.6500 (1996), 4.4990 (1995), 4.2700 (1994); period average—4.6758 (January 1998), 4.6236 (1997), 4.6045 (1996), 4.4958 (1995)

    Fiscal year: calendar year

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)