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Albania: Economy#

Albania, a formerly closed, centrally-planned state, is making the difficult transition to a more modern open-market economy. Albania managed to weather the first waves of the global financial crisis but, more recently, its negative effects have put some pressure on the Albanian economy. While the government is focused on establishing a favorable business climate through the simplification of licensing requirements and tax codes, it entered into a new arrangement with the IMF for additional financial and technical support. Remittances, a significant catalyst for economic growth declined from 12-15% of GDP before the 2008 financial crisis to 7% of GDP in 2012, mostly from Albanians residing in Greece and Italy. The agricultural sector, which accounts for almost half of employment but only about one-fifth of GDP, is limited primarily to small family operations and subsistence farming, because of a lack of modern equipment, unclear property rights, and the prevalence of small, inefficient plots of land. Complex tax codes and licensing requirements, a weak judicial system, poor enforcement of contracts and property issues, and antiquated infrastructure contribute to Albania's poor business environment and makes attracting foreign investment more difficult. Inward FDI is among the lowest in the region, but the government has embarked on an ambitious program to improve the business climate through fiscal and legislative reforms. Albania’s energy supply has improved in recent years mostly due to upgraded transmission capacities that Albania has developed with its neighboring countries. However, technical and non-technical losses - including energy theft and non-payment - continue to be a threat to the financial viability of the entire system. Also, with help from international donors, the government is taking steps to improve the poor national road and rail network, a long-standing barrier to sustained economic growth. The country will continue to face challenges from increasing public debt, having exceeded its former statutory limit of 60% of GDP in 2013. Strong trade, remittance, and banking sector ties with Greece and Italy make Albania vulnerable to spillover effects of debt crises and weak growth in the euro zone.

Economic Facts#

GDP (purchasing power parity)$28.34 billion (2013 est.)
$28.14 billion (2012 est.)
$27.78 billion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
Albania has an informal, and unreported, sector that may be as large as 50% of official GDP
GDP - real growth rate0.7% (2013 est.)
1.3% (2012 est.)
3.1% (2011 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$10,700 (2013 est.)
$10,400 (2012 est.)
$9,900 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
GDP - composition, by sector of originagriculture: 19.5%
industry: 12%
services: 68.5%
(2011 est.)
Population below poverty line14.3% (2012 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 3.5%
highest 10%: 29% (2008)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 54.6%
industry: 12.8%
services: 32.6%
(December 2012 est)
Exports - commoditiestextiles and footwear; asphalt, metals and metallic ores, crude oil; vegetables, fruits, tobacco
Exports - partnersItaly 51.1%, Spain 9.2%, Turkey 6.3%, Greece 4.4% (2012)
Agriculture - productswheat, corn, potatoes, vegetables, fruits, sugar beets, grapes; meat, dairy products; sheep
Budgetrevenues: $3.074 billion
expenditures: $3.858 billion (2013 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery and equipment, foodstuffs, textiles, chemicals
Imports - partnersItaly 31.9%, Greece 9.5%, China 6.4%, Germany 6%, Turkey 5.7% (2012)
Exchange ratesleke (ALL) per US dollar -
109.2 (2013 est.)
108.19 (2012 est.)
103.94 (2010 est.)
94.98 (2009)
79.546 (2008)
Exports$2.323 billion (2013 est.)
$2.1 billion (2012 est.)
Debt - external$3.213 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$2.957 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
Imports$4.835 billion (2013 est.)
$4.985 billion (2012 est.)
Industrial production growth rate3.1% (2013 est.)
Industriesfood and tobacco products; textiles and clothing; lumber, oil, cement, chemicals, mining, basic metals, hydropower
Inflation rate (consumer prices)1.7% (2013 est.)
2.1% (2012 est.)
Labor force1.098 million (2013 est.)
Unemployment rate16.9% (2013 est.)
14.4% (2012 est.)
note: these are official rates that may not include those working at near-subsistence farming
Distribution of family income - Gini index34.5 (2008)
26.7 (2005)
Public debt70.5% of GDP (2013 est.)
62.5% of GDP (2012 est.)
Current account balance-$1.28 billion (2013 est.)
-$1.316 billion (2012 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$2.827 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$2.784 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$12.8 billion (2013 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$4.226 billion (31 December 2011)
$3.534 billion (31 December 2010)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
Central bank discount rate$NA (31 December 2013 est.)
4% (31 December 2012 est.)
Commercial bank prime lending rate9.52% (31 December 2013 est.)
10.28% (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$5.17 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$5.233 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of narrow money$2.791 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$2.652 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of broad money$6.539 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$6.316 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Taxes and other revenues24% of GDP (2013 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-6.1% of GDP (2013 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 87.6%
government consumption: 8.4%
investment in fixed capital: 25%
investment in inventories: -2.6%
exports of goods and services: 36%
imports of goods and services: -54.4%
(2013 est.)
Gross national saving14.1% of GDP (2013 est.)
13.6% of GDP (2012 est.)
13.6% of GDP (2011 est.)