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Afghanistan Economy Profile 2019

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Economy - overview

Despite improvements in life expectancy, incomes, and literacy since 2001, Afghanistan is extremely poor, landlocked, and highly dependent on foreign aid. Much of the population continues to suffer from shortages of housing, clean water, electricity, medical care, and jobs. Corruption, insecurity, weak governance, lack of infrastructure, and the Afghan Government's difficulty in extending rule of law to all parts of the country pose challenges to future economic growth. Afghanistan's living standards are among the lowest in the world. Since 2014, the economy has slowed, in large part because of the withdrawal of nearly 100,000 foreign troops that had artificially inflated the country’s economic growth.

The international community remains committed to Afghanistan's development, pledging over $83 billion at ten donors' conferences between 2003 and 2016. In October 2016, the donors at the Brussels conference pledged an additional $3.8 billion in development aid annually from 2017 to 2020. Even with this help, Government of Afghanistan still faces number of challenges, including low revenue collection, anemic job creation, high levels of corruption, weak government capacity, and poor public infrastructure.

In 2017 Afghanistan's growth rate was only marginally above that of the 2014-2016 average. The drawdown of international security forces that started in 2012 has negatively affected economic growth, as a substantial portion of commerce, especially in the services sector, has catered to the ongoing international troop presence in the country. Afghan President Ashraf GHANI Ahmadzai is dedicated to instituting economic reforms to include improving revenue collection and fighting corruption. The government has implemented reforms to the budget process and in some other areas. However, many other reforms will take time to implement and Afghanistan will remain dependent on international donor support over the next several years.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$69.45 billion (2017 est.)
$67.65 billion (2016 est.)
$66.21 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)
$20.24 billion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate
2.7% (2017 est.)
2.2% (2016 est.)
1% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)
$2,000 (2017 est.)
$2,000 (2016 est.)
$2,000 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Gross national saving
22.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
25.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
21.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use
household consumption: 81.6% (2016 est.)
government consumption: 12% (2016 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 17.2% (2016 est.)
investment in inventories: 30% (2016 est.)
exports of goods and services: 6.7% (2016 est.)
imports of goods and services: -47.6% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 23% (2016 est.)
industry: 21.1% (2016 est.)
services: 55.9% (2016 est.)

note: data exclude opium production

Population below poverty line
54.5% (2017 est.)
Labor force
8.478 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupation
agriculture: 44.3%
industry: 18.1%
services: 37.6% (2017 est.)
Unemployment rate
23.9% (2017 est.)
22.6% (2016 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24
total: 17.6%
male: 16.3%
female: 21.4% (2017)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: 3.8%
highest 10%: 24% (2008)
Distribution of family income - Gini index
29.4 (2008)
Budget
revenues: 2.276 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 5.328 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues
11.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)
-15.1% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt
7% of GDP (2017 est.)
7.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
5% (2017 est.)
4.4% (2016 est.)
Commercial bank prime lending rate
15% (31 December 2016 est.)
15% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money
$6.644 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$6.192 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Stock of broad money
$6.945 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$6.544 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Stock of domestic credit
-$240.6 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares

NA

Agriculture - products
opium, wheat, fruits, nuts, wool, mutton, sheepskins, lambskins, poppies
Industries
small-scale production of bricks, textiles, soap, furniture, shoes, fertilizer, apparel, food products, non-alcoholic beverages, mineral water, cement; handwoven carpets; natural gas, coal, copper
Industrial production growth rate
-1.9% (2016 est.)
Current Account Balance
$1.014 billion (2017 est.)
$1.409 billion (2016 est.)
Exports
$784 million (2017 est.)
$614.2 million (2016 est.)

note: not including illicit exports or reexports

Exports - commodities
opium, fruits and nuts, handwoven carpets, wool, cotton, hides and pelts, precious and semi-precious gems, and medical herbs
Exports - partners
India 56.5%, Pakistan 29.6% (2017)
Imports
$7.616 billion (2017 est.)
$6.16 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities
machinery and other capital goods, food, textiles, petroleum products
Imports - partners
China 21%, Iran 20.5%, Pakistan 11.8%, Kazakhstan 11%, Uzbekistan 6.8%, Malaysia 5.3% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
$7.187 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$6.901 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external
$2.84 billion (FY/)
Exchange rates
afghanis (AFA) per US dollar -
7.87 (2017 est.)
68.03 (2016 est.)
67.87 (2015)
61.14 (2014 est.)
57.25 (2013 est.)
Fiscal year
21 December - 20 December

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on December 7, 2019

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