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Uruguay Economy

    Economy—overview: Uruguay's small economy benefits from a favorable climate for agriculture and substantial hydropower production. The SANGUINETTI government's conservative monetary and fiscal policies are aimed at reducing inflation; other priorities include moving toward a more market-oriented economy, completing reform of the social security system, and increasing investment in education. Economic performance remains sensitive to conditions in Argentina and Brazil, largely because more than half of Uruguay's trade is conducted with its partners in Mercosur (the Southern Cone Common Market).

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$28.4 billion (1998 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: 3% (1998 est.)

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$8,600 (1998 est.)

    GDP—composition by sector:
    agriculture: 8%
    industry: 26%
    services: 66% (1997)

    Population below poverty line: NA%

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

    Inflation rate (consumer prices): 8.6% (1998)

    Labor force: 1.38 million (1997 est.)

    Labor force—by occupation: government 25%, manufacturing 19%, agriculture 11%, commerce 12%, utilities, construction, transport, and communications 12%, other services 21% (1988 est.)

    Unemployment rate: 10.5% (November 1998)

    Budget:
    revenues: $4 billion
    expenditures: $4.3 billion, with capital expenditures of $385 million (1997 est.)

    Industries: meat processing, wool and hides, sugar, textiles, footwear, leather apparel, tires, cement, petroleum refining, wine

    Industrial production growth rate: 5.6% (1997)

    Electricity—production: 8.35 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—production by source:
    fossil fuel: 10.18%
    hydro: 89.82%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 0% (1996)

    Electricity—consumption: 8.223 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—exports: 437 million kWh (1996)

    Electricity—imports: 310 million kWh (1996)

    Agriculture—products: wheat, rice, corn, sorghum; livestock; fish

    Exports: $2.7 billion (f.o.b., 1997)

    Exports—commodities: wool and textile manufactures, beef and other animal products, rice, fish and shellfish, chemicals

    Exports—partners: Brazil, Argentina, US, Germany, Italy, UK

    Imports: $3.7 billion (c.i.f., 1997)

    Imports—commodities: machinery and equipment, vehicles, chemicals, minerals, plastics, oil

    Imports—partners: Brazil, Argentina, US, Italy, Germany, France, Spain

    Debt—external: $4.6 billion (1996 est.)

    Economic aid—recipient: $79.7 million (1995)

    Currency: 1 Uruguayan peso ($Ur) = 100 centesimos

    Exchange rates: Uruguayan pesos ($Ur) per US$1—11.08 (January 1999), 9.98 (January 1998), 9.4418 (1997), 7.9718 (1996), 6.3491 (1995), 5.0529 (1994)

    Fiscal year: calendar year

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