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Algeria Economy

    Economy—overview: The hydrocarbons sector is the backbone of the economy, accounting for roughly 52% of budget revenues, 25% of GDP, and over 95% of export earnings. Algeria has the fifth-largest reserves of natural gas in the world and is the second largest gas exporter; it ranks fourteenth for oil reserves. Algiers' efforts to reform one of the most centrally planned economies in the Arab world began after the 1986 collapse of world oil prices plunged the country into a severe recession. In 1989, the government launched a comprehensive, IMF-supported program to achieve economic stabilization and to introduce market mechanisms into the economy. Despite substantial progress toward economic adjustment, in 1992 the reform drive stalled as Algiers became embroiled in political turmoil. In September 1993, a new government was formed, and one priority was the resumption and acceleration of the structural adjustment process. Burdened with a heavy foreign debt, Algiers concluded a one-year standby arrangement with the IMF in April 1994 and the following year signed onto a three-year extended fund facility which ended 30 April 1998. Progress on economic reform, a Paris Club debt rescheduling in 1995, and oil and gas sector expansion have contributed to a recovery since 1995. Investments in developing hydrocarbon resources have spurred growth, but the economy remains heavily dependent on volatile oil and gas revenues. The government has continued efforts to diversify the economy by attracting foreign and domestic investment outside the energy sector in order to reduce high unemployment and improve living standards.

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$140.2 billion (1998 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: 3.2% (1998 est.)

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$4,600 (1998 est.)

    GDP—composition by sector:
    agriculture: 12%
    industry: 51%
    services: 37% (1997 est.)

    Population below poverty line: 22.6% (1995 est.)

    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: 2.8%
    highest 10%: 26.8% (1995)

    Inflation rate (consumer prices): 9% (1998 est.)

    Labor force: 7.8 million (1996 est.)

    Labor force—by occupation: government 29.5%, agriculture 22%, construction and public works 16.2%, industry 13.6%, commerce and services 13.5%, transportation and communication 5.2% (1989)

    Unemployment rate: 30% (1998 est.)

    Budget:
    revenues: $14.4 billion
    expenditures: $15.7 billion, including capital expenditures of $4.4 million (1998 est.)

    Industries: petroleum, natural gas, light industries, mining, electrical, petrochemical, food processing

    Industrial production growth rate: -4% (1997 est.)

    Electricity—production: 18.4 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—production by source:
    fossil fuel: 98.91%
    hydro: 1.09%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 0% (1996)

    Electricity—consumption: 18.13 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—exports: 490 million kWh (1996)

    Electricity—imports: 220 million kWh (1996)

    Agriculture—products: wheat, barley, oats, grapes, olives, citrus, fruits; sheep, cattle

    Exports: $14 billion (f.o.b., 1997 est.)

    Exports—commodities: petroleum and natural gas 97%

    Exports—partners: Italy 18.8%, US 14.8%, France 11.8%, Spain 8%, Germany 7.9% (1995 est.)

    Imports: $8.5 billion (f.o.b., 1997 est.)

    Imports—commodities: capital goods, food and beverages, consumer goods

    Imports—partners: France 29%, Spain 10.5%, Italy 8.2%, US 8%, Germany 5.6% (1995 est.)

    Debt—external: $31.4 billion (1998 est.)

    Economic aid—recipient: $897.5 million (1994)

    Currency: 1 Algerian dinar (DA) = 100 centimes

    Exchange rates: Algerian dinars (DA) per US$1—61.264 (January 1999), 58.739 (1998), 57.707 (1997), 54.749 (1996), 47.663 (1995), 35.059 (1994)

    Fiscal year: calendar year

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