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Marshall Islands: Economy

Economy Marshall Islands
Economy - overview:
US Government assistance is the mainstay of this tiny island economy. Agricultural production is primarily subsistence and is concentrated on small farms; the most important commercial crops are coconuts and breadfruit. Small-scale industry is limited to handicrafts, tuna processing, and copra. The tourist industry, now a small source of foreign exchange employing less than 10% of the labor force, remains the best hope for future added income. The islands have few natural resources, and imports far exceed exports. Under the terms of the Compact of Free Association, the US has provided more than $1 billion in aid since 1986. Negotiations have continued for an extended agreement. Government downsizing, drought, a drop in construction, the decline in tourism and foreign investment due to the Asian financial difficulties, and less income from the renewal of fishing vessel licenses have held GDP growth to an average of 1% over the past decade.
GDP:
purchasing power parity - $115 million (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
1% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $1,600 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 14%
industry: 16%
services: 70% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line:
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2% (2001 est.)
Labor force:
28,698
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 21.4%, industry 20.9%, services 57.7%
Unemployment rate:
30.9% (1999 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $42 million
expenditures: $40 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1999)
Industries:
copra, fish, tourism, craft items from shell, wood, and pearls
Industrial production growth rate:
NA%
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 99%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 1% (solar)
Agriculture - products:
coconuts, tomatoes, melons, taro, breadfruit, fruits; pigs, chickens
Exports:
$9 million f.o.b. (2000)
Exports - commodities:
copra cake, coconut oil, handicrafts, fish
Exports - partners:
US, Japan, Australia, China (2000)
Imports:
$54 million f.o.b. (2000)
Imports - commodities:
foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, fuels, beverages and tobacco
Imports - partners:
US, Japan, Australia, NZ, Singapore, Fiji, China, Philippines (2000)
Debt - external:
$86.5 million (FY 99/00 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
more than $1 billion from the US, 1986-2002
Currency:
US dollar (USD)
Currency code:
USD
Exchange rates:
the US dollar is the legal tender
Fiscal year:
1 October - 30 September

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Source: The CIA World Fact Book 2003

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