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    Korea, North Index 2005

    Korea, North Main Index

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    Korea, North Economy - 2005

      Economy - overview:
      North Korea, one of the world's most centrally planned and isolated economies, faces desperate economic conditions. Industrial capital stock is nearly beyond repair as a result of years of underinvestment and spare parts shortages. Industrial and power output have declined in parallel. The nation has suffered its eleventh year of food shortages because of a lack of arable land, collective farming, weather-related problems, and chronic shortages of fertilizer and fuel. Massive international food aid deliveries have allowed the regime to escape mass starvation since 1995, but the population remains the victim of prolonged malnutrition and deteriorating living conditions. Large-scale military spending eats up resources needed for investment and civilian consumption. In July 2002, the government took limited steps toward a freer market economy. In 2004, heightened political tensions with key donor countries and general donor fatigue threatened the flow of desperately needed food aid and fuel aid. Black market prices have continued to rise following the increase in official prices and wages in the summer of 2002, leaving some vulnerable groups, such as the elderly and unemployed, less able to buy goods. In 2004, the regime allowed private markets to sell a wider range of goods and permitted private farming on an experimental basis in an effort to boost agricultural output. Firm political control remains the Communist government's overriding concern, which will constrain any further loosening of economic regulations.

      purchasing power parity - $40 billion (2004 est.)

      GDP - real growth rate:
      1% (2004 est.)

      GDP - per capita:
      purchasing power parity - $1,700 (2004 est.)

      GDP - composition by sector:
      agriculture: 30.2%
      industry: 33.8%
      services: 36% (2002 est.)

      Labor force:
      9.6 million

      Labor force - by occupation:
      agricultural 36%, nonagricultural 64%

      Unemployment rate:
      NA (2003)

      Population below poverty line:

      Household income or consumption by percentage share:
      lowest 10%: NA
      highest 10%: NA

      Inflation rate (consumer prices):
      NA (2003 est.)

      revenues: NA
      expenditures: NA, including capital expenditures of NA

      Agriculture - products:
      rice, corn, potatoes, soybeans, pulses; cattle, pigs, pork, eggs

      military products; machine building, electric power, chemicals; mining (coal, iron ore, magnesite, graphite, copper, zinc, lead, and precious metals), metallurgy; textiles, food processing; tourism

      Industrial production growth rate:

      Electricity - production:
      33.62 billion kWh (2002)

      Electricity - consumption:
      31.26 billion kWh (2002)

      Electricity - exports:
      0 kWh (2002)

      Electricity - imports:
      0 kWh (2002)

      Oil - production:
      0 bbl/day (2001 est.)

      Oil - consumption:
      85,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)

      Oil - exports:

      Oil - imports:
      11,500 bbl/day (2003 est.)

      $1.2 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)

      Exports - commodities:
      minerals, metallurgical products, manufactures (including armaments); textiles and fishery products

      Exports - partners:
      China 29.9%, South Korea 24.1%, Japan 13.2% (2004)

      $2.1 billion c.i.f. (2003)

      Imports - commodities:
      petroleum, coking coal, machinery and equipment; textiles, grain

      Imports - partners:
      China 32.9%, Thailand 10.7%, Japan 4.8% (2004)

      Debt - external:
      $12 billion (1996 est.)

      Economic aid - recipient:
      NA; note - over $117 million in food aid through the World Food Program in 2003 plus additional aid from bilateral donors and non-governmental organizations

      Currency (code):
      North Korean won (KPW)

      Exchange rates:
      official: North Korean won per US dollar - 170 (December 2004), 150 (December 2002), 2.15 (December 2001); market: North Korean won per US dollar - 300-600 (December 2002)

      Fiscal year:
      calendar year

      NOTE: The information regarding Korea, North on this page is re-published from the 2005 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Korea, North Economy 2005 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Korea, North Economy 2005 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 16-Feb-06
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