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Turkmenistan: Economy#

Turkmenistan is largely a desert country with intensive agriculture in irrigated oases and sizeable gas and oil resources. The two largest crops are cotton, most of which is produced for export, and wheat, which is domestically consumed. Although agriculture accounts for roughly 7% of GDP, it continues to employ nearly half of the country's workforce. Turkmenistan's authoritarian regime has taken a cautious approach to economic reform, hoping to use gas and cotton export revenues to sustain its inefficient and highly corrupt economy. The government introduced a privatization plan in 2012, but the implementation of this initiative has been slow. Privatization goals remain limited. From 1998-2005, Turkmenistan suffered from the continued lack of adequate export routes for natural gas and from obligations on extensive short-term external debt. At the same time, however, total exports rose by an average of roughly 15% per year from 2003-08, largely because of higher international oil and gas prices. Additional pipelines to China, that began operation in early 2010, and increased pipeline capacity to Iran, have expanded Turkmenistan's export routes for its gas. Overall prospects in the near future are discouraging because of endemic corruption, a poor educational system, government misuse of oil and gas revenues, and Ashgabat's reluctance to adopt market-oriented reforms. The majority of Turkmenistan's economic statistics are state secrets. The present government established a State Agency for Statistics, but GDP numbers and other publicized figures are subject to wide margins of error. In particular, the rate of GDP growth is uncertain. Since his election, President BERDIMUHAMEDOW unified the country's dual currency exchange rate, ordered the redenomination of the manat, reduced state subsidies for gasoline, and initiated development of a special tourism zone on the Caspian Sea. Although foreign investment is encouraged, and some improvements in macroeconomic policy have been made, numerous bureaucratic obstacles impede international business activity.

Economic Facts#

GDP (purchasing power parity)$55.16 billion (2013 est.)
$49.18 billion (2012 est.)
$44.27 billion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
GDP - real growth rate12.2% (2013 est.)
11.1% (2012 est.)
14.7% (2011 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$9,700 (2013 est.)
$8,800 (2012 est.)
$8,000 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
GDP - composition, by sector of originagriculture: 7.2%
industry: 24.4%
services: 68.4% (2013 est.)
Population below poverty line30% (2004 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.6%
highest 10%: 31.7% (1998)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 48.2%
industry: 14%
services: 37.8% (2004 est.)
Exports - commoditiesgas, crude oil, petrochemicals, textiles, cotton fiber
Exports - partnersChina 69.6%, Italy 4.7% (2012)
Agriculture - productscotton, grain, melons; livestock
Budgetrevenues: $5.93 billion
expenditures: $5.474 billion (2013 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery and equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs
Imports - partnersChina 19.5%, Turkey 17%, Russia 12.6%, UAE 6.8%, Ukraine 6%, Germany 4.7%, UK 4.2% (2012)
Exchange ratesTurkmen manat (TMM) per US dollar -
2.85 (2013 est.)
2.85 (2012 est.)
2.85 (2010 est.)
2.85 (2009)
14,250 (2008)
Exports$17.13 billion (2013 est.)
$19.99 billion (2012 est.)
Debt - external$428.9 million (31 December 2012 est.)
$451.5 million (31 December 2011 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
Imports$12.48 billion (2013 est.)
$14.14 billion (2012 est.)
Industrial production growth rate8% (2013 est.)
Industriesnatural gas, oil, petroleum products, textiles, food processing
Inflation rate (consumer prices)9% (2013 est.)
8.5% (2012 est.)
Labor force2.3 million (2008 est.)
Unemployment rate60% (2004 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index40.8 (1998)
Current account balance$285.9 million (2013 est.)
$622.7 million (2012 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$22.35 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$20.71 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$40.56 billion (2013 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
Stock of domestic credit$2.912 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$2.561 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of narrow money$577.2 million (31 December 2013 est.)
$526.3 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of broad money$1.199 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$1.058 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Taxes and other revenues14.6% of GDP (2013 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)1.1% of GDP (2013 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 50%
government consumption: 12.8%
investment in fixed capital: 11.6%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 56.4%
imports of goods and services: -30.8%
(2013 est.)
Gross national saving12.6% of GDP (2013 est.)
12.9% of GDP (2012 est.)
10.6% of GDP (2011 est.)