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Syria: Economy#

Syria's economy continues to deteriorate amid the ongoing conflict that began in 2011, declining by 62% from 2010 to 2014. The government has struggled to address the effects of international sanctions, widespread infrastructure damage, diminished domestic consumption and production, reduced subsidies, and high inflation, which have caused dwindling foreign exchange reserves, rising budget and trade deficits, a decreasing value of the Syrian pound, and falling household purchasing power.

During 2014, the ongoing conflict and continued unrest and economic decline worsened the humanitarian crisis and elicited a greater need for international assistance, as the number of people in need inside Syria increased from 9.3 million to 12.2 million, and the number of Syrian refugees increased from 2.2 million to more than 3.3 million.

Prior to the turmoil, Damascus had begun liberalizing economic policies, including cutting lending interest rates, opening private banks, consolidating multiple exchange rates, raising prices on some subsidized items, and establishing the Damascus Stock Exchange, but the economy remains highly regulated. Long-run economic constraints include foreign trade barriers, declining oil production, high unemployment, rising budget deficits, increasing pressure on water supplies caused by heavy use in agriculture, rapid population growth, industrial expansion, water pollution, and widespread infrastructure damage.

Economic Facts#

GDP (purchasing power parity)$55.8 billion (2015 est.)
$61.9 billion (2013 est.)
$97.5 billion (2012 est.)
note: data are in 2015 US dollars ++ the war-driven deterioration of the economy resulted in a disappearance of quality national level statistics in the 2012-13 period
GDP (official exchange rate)$24.6 billion (2014 est.)
GDP - real growth rate-9.9% (2015 est.)
-36.5% (2014 est.)
-30.9% (2013 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$2,900 (2015 est.)
NA (2013 est.)
NA (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2015 US dollars
Gross national saving20% of GDP (2015 est.)
18.5% of GDP (2014 est.)
14.9% of GDP (2013 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 63%
government consumption: 22.6%
investment in fixed capital: 21.2%
investment in inventories: 11.1%
exports of goods and services: 13.9%
imports of goods and services: -31.8% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of originagriculture: 19.5%
industry: 19%
services: 61.5% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productswheat, barley, cotton, lentils, chickpeas, olives, sugar beets; beef, mutton, eggs, poultry, milk
Industriespetroleum, textiles, food processing, beverages, tobacco, phosphate rock mining, cement, oil seeds crushing, automobile assembly
Industrial production growth rate-2.4% (2016 est.)
Labor force3.37 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 17%
industry: 16%
services: 67% (2008 est.)
Unemployment rate50% (2016 est.)
50% (2015 est.)
Population below poverty line82.5% (2014 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Budgetrevenues: $494.5 million
expenditures: $2.665 billion

note: government projections for FY2016
Taxes and other revenues2% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-8.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt57.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
52% of GDP (2015 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices)47.7% (2016 est.)
38.1% (2015 est.)
Central bank discount rate0.75% (31 December 2016)
5% (31 December 2015)
Commercial bank prime lending rate32% (31 December 2016 est.)
27% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$3.017 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$5.254 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$3.712 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$6.98 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$2.336 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$5.285 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
Current account balance-$3.148 billion (2015 est.)
-$3.667 billion (2014 est.)
Exports$2.304 billion (2016 est.)
$2.14 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiescrude oil, minerals, petroleum products, fruits and vegetables, cotton fiber, textiles, clothing, meat and live animals, wheat
Exports - partnersIraq 64.7%, Saudi Arabia 11.2%, Kuwait 7.1%, UAE 6.1%, Libya 4.6% (2015)
Imports$5.965 billion (2016 est.)
$6.663 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery and transport equipment, electric power machinery, food and livestock, metal and metal products, chemicals and chemical products, plastics, yarn, paper
Imports - partnersSaudi Arabia 28%, UAE 13.7%, Iran 10.1%, Turkey 9%, Iraq 8.3%, China 6.1% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$504.6 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$772.9 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external$5.918 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$5.3 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesSyrian pounds (SYP) per US dollar -
497.8 (2016 est.)
236.41 (2015 est.)
236.41 (2014 est.)
153.695 (2013 est.)
64.39 (2012 est.)