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Iraq Economy 1996

    • Overview:
      The Ba'thist regime engages in extensive central planning and management of industrial production and foreign trade while leaving some small-scale industry and services and most agriculture to private enterprise.

      The economy has been dominated by the oil sector, which has traditionally provided about 95% of foreign exchange earnings.

      In the 1980s, financial problems caused by massive expenditures in the eight-year war with Iran and damage to oil export facilities by Iran, led the government to implement austerity measures and to borrow heavily and later reschedule foreign debt payments.

      After the end of hostilities in 1988, oil exports gradually increased with the construction of new pipelines and restoration of damaged facilities.

      Agricultural development remained hampered by labor shortages, salinization, and dislocations caused by previous land reform and collectivization programs.

      The industrial sector, although accorded high priority by the government, also was under financial constraints.

      Iraq's seizure of Kuwait in August 1990, subsequent international economic embargoes, and military action by an international coalition beginning in January 1991 drastically changed the economic picture.

      Industrial and transportation facilities, which suffered severe damage, have been partially restored.

      Oil exports remain at less than 5% of the previous level.

      Shortages of spare parts continue. Living standards deteriorated even further in 1993 and 1994; consumer prices have more than doubled in both 1993 and 1994.

      The UN-sponsored economic embargo has reduced exports and imports and has contributed to the sharp rise in prices. The Iraqi government has been unwilling to abide by UN resolutions so that the economic embargo can be removed.

      The government's policies of supporting large military and internal security forces and of allocating resources to key supporters of the regime have exacerbated shortages.

      In brief, per capita output in 1993-94 is far below the 1989-90 level, but no precise estimate is available.

    • National product:
      GDP - purchasing power parity - $NA

    • National product real growth rate:

    • National product per capita:

    • Inflation rate (consumer prices):

    • Unemployment rate:

    • Budget:


        $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA

    • Exports:
      $10.4 billion (f.o.b., 1990)

        crude oil and refined products, fertilizer, sulfur

        US, Brazil, Turkey, Japan, Netherlands, Spain (1990)

    • Imports:
      $6.6 billion (c.i.f., 1990)

        manufactures, food

        Germany, US, Turkey, France, UK (1990)

    • External debt:
      $50 billion (1989 est.), excluding debt of about $35 billion owed to Gulf Arab states

    • Industrial production:
      growth rate NA%; manufacturing accounts for 10% of GNP (1989)

    • Electricity:

        7,170,000 kW

        25.7 billion kWh

        consumption per capita:
        1,247 kWh (1993)

    • Industries:
      petroleum production and refining, chemicals, textiles, construction materials, food processing

    • Agriculture:
      accounted for 11% of GNP and 30% of labor force before the Gulf war; principal products - wheat, barley, rice, vegetables, dates, other fruit, cotton, wool; livestock - cattle, sheep; not self-sufficient in food output

    • Economic aid:

        US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-80), $3 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $647 million; Communist countries (1970-89), $3.9 billion

    • Currency:
      1 Iraqi dinar (ID) = 1,000 fils

    • Exchange rates:
      Iraqi dinars (ID) per US$1 - 3.2 (fixed official rate since 1982); black-market rate (March 1995) US$1 = 1200 Iraqi dinars; semi-official rate US$1 = 650 Iraqi dinars

    • Fiscal year:
      calendar year

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