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Uzbekistan Economy

    Economy—overview: Uzbekistan is a dry, landlocked country of which 10% consists of intensely cultivated, irrigated river valleys. It was one of the poorest areas of the former Soviet Union with more than 60% of its population living in densely populated rural communities. Uzbekistan is now the world's third largest cotton exporter, a major producer of gold and natural gas, and a regionally significant producer of chemicals and machinery. Following independence in December 1991, the government sought to prop up its Soviet-style command economy with subsidies and tight controls on production and prices. Faced with high rates of inflation, however, the government began to reform in mid-1994, by introducing tighter monetary policies, expanding privatization, slightly reducing the role of the state in the economy, and improving the environment for foreign investors. Nevertheless, the state continues to be a dominating influence in the economy, and reforms have so far failed to bring about much-needed structural changes. The IMF suspended Uzbekistan's $185 million standby arrangement in late 1996 because of governmental steps that made impossible fulfillment of Fund conditions. Uzbekistan has responded to the negative external conditions generated by the Asian and Russian financial crises by tightening export and currency controls within its already largely closed economy.

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$59.2 billion (1998 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: 1% (1998 est.)

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$2,500 (1998 est.)

    GDP—composition by sector:
    agriculture: 26%
    industry: 27%
    services: 47% (1996 est.)

    Population below poverty line: NA%

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

    Inflation rate (consumer prices): 40% (1998 est.)

    Labor force: 11.9 million (1998 est.)

    Labor force—by occupation: agriculture and forestry 44%, industry 20%, services 36% (1995)

    Unemployment rate: 5% plus another 10% underemployed (December 1996 est.)

    Budget:
    revenues: $4.4 billion
    expenditures: $4.7 billion, including capital expenditures of $1.1 billion (1997 est.)

    Industries: textiles, food processing, machine building, metallurgy, natural gas

    Industrial production growth rate: 5% (1998)

    Electricity—production: 47.9 billion kWh (1998)

    Electricity—production by source:
    fossil fuel: 84.18%
    hydro: 15.82%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 0% (1996)

    Electricity—consumption: 43.885 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—exports: 5.6 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—imports: 6.5 billion kWh (1996)

    Agriculture—products: cotton, vegetables, fruits, grain; livestock

    Exports: $3.8 billion (1998)

    Exports—commodities: cotton, gold, natural gas, mineral fertilizers, ferrous metals, textiles, food products, autos

    Exports—partners: Russia, Ukraine, Eastern Europe, Western Europe

    Imports: $4.1 billion (1998)

    Imports—commodities: grain, machinery and parts, consumer durables, other foods

    Imports—partners: principally other FSU, Czech Republic, Western Europe

    Debt—external: $2.6 billion (1997 est.)

    Economic aid—recipient: $276.6 million (1995)

    Currency: Uzbekistani som (UKS)

    Exchange rates: Uzbekistani soms (UKS) per US$1—111.9 (February 1999), 110.95 (December 1998), 75.8 (September 1997), 41.1 (1996), 30.2 (1995), 11.4 (1994), 1.0 (1993)

    Fiscal year: calendar year

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