unbekannter Gast

North Korea: Economy#

North Korea, one of the world's most centrally directed and least open economies, faces chronic economic problems. Industrial capital stock is nearly beyond repair as a result of years of underinvestment, shortages of spare parts, and poor maintenance. Large-scale military spending draws off resources needed for investment and civilian consumption. Industrial and power output have stagnated for years at a fraction of pre-1990 levels. Frequent weather-related crop failures aggravated chronic food shortages caused by on-going systemic problems, including a lack of arable land, collective farming practices, poor soil quality, insufficient fertilization, and persistent shortages of tractors and fuel. Large-scale international food aid deliveries have allowed the people of North Korea to escape widespread starvation since famine threatened in 1995, but the population continues to suffer from prolonged malnutrition and poor living conditions. Since 2002, the government has allowed private "farmers' markets" to begin selling a wider range of goods. It also permitted some private farming - on an experimental basis - in an effort to boost agricultural output. In December 2009, North Korea carried out a redenomination of its currency, capping the amount of North Korean won that could be exchanged for the new notes, and limiting the exchange to a one-week window. A concurrent crackdown on markets and foreign currency use yielded severe shortages and inflation, forcing Pyongyang to ease the restrictions by February 2010. In response to the sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan and the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island, South Korea's government cut off most aid, trade, and bilateral cooperation activities, with the exception of operations at the Kaesong Industrial Complex. In preparation for the 100th anniversary of KIM Il-sung's birthday in 2012, North Korea continued efforts to develop special economic zones with China and expressed willingness to permit construction of a trilateral gas pipeline that would carry Russian natural gas to South Korea. The North Korean government often highlights its goal of becoming a "strong and prosperous" nation and attracting foreign investment, a key factor for improving the overall standard of living. In this regard, in 2013 the regime rolled out 14 new Special Economic Zones set up for foreign investors, though the initiative remains in its infancy. Nevertheless, firm political control remains the government's overriding concern, which likely will inhibit changes to North Korea's current economic system.

Economic Facts#

GDP (purchasing power parity)$40 billion (2012 est.)
$40 billion (2011 est.)
$40 billion (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars;
North Korea does not publish reliable National Income Accounts data; the data shown here are derived from purchasing power parity (PPP) GDP estimates for North Korea that were made by Angus MADDISON in a study conducted for the OECD; his figure for 1999 was extrapolated to 2011 using estimated real growth rates for North Korea's GDP and an inflation factor based on the US GDP deflator; the results were rounded to the nearest $10 billion.
GDP - real growth rate1.3% (2012 est.)
0.8% (2011 est.)
-0.5% (2010 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$1,800 (2011 est.)
$1,800 (2010 est.)
$1,900 (2009 est.)
note: data are in 2011 US dollars
GDP - composition, by sector of originagriculture: 23.4%
industry: 47.2%
services: 29.4% (2012 est.)
Population below poverty lineNA%
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 35%
industry and services: 65% (2008 est.)
Exports - commoditiesminerals, metallurgical products, manufactures (including armaments), textiles, agricultural and fishery products
Exports - partnersChina 63%, South Korea 27% (2012 est.)
Agriculture - productsrice, corn, potatoes, soybeans, pulses; cattle, pigs, pork, eggs
Budgetrevenues: $3.2 billion
expenditures: $3.3 billion (2007 est.)
Imports - commoditiespetroleum, coking coal, machinery and equipment, textiles, grain
Imports - partnersChina 73%, South Korea 19% (2012 est.)
Exchange ratesNorth Korean won (KPW) per US dollar (market rate)
157 (2013 est.)
155.5 (2012 est.)
145 (2010 est.)
3,630 (December 2008)
140 (2007)
Exports$3.954 billion (2012 est.)
$3.703 billion (2011 est.)
Debt - external$3 billion (2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
Imports$4.828 billion (2012 est.)
$4.367 billion
Industrial production growth rate0.5% (2013 est.)
Industriesmilitary products; machine building, electric power, chemicals; mining (coal, iron ore, limestone, magnesite, graphite, copper, zinc, lead, and precious metals), metallurgy; textiles, food processing; tourism
Inflation rate (consumer prices)NA%
Labor force12.6 million
note: estimates vary widely (2012 est.)
Unemployment rateNA%
GDP (official exchange rate)$28 billion (2009 est.)
Taxes and other revenues11.4% of GDP
note: excludes earnings from state-operated enterprises (2007 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-0.4% of GDP (2007 est.)