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Moldova Economy Profile

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Economy - overview

Despite recent progress, Moldova remains one of the poorest countries in Europe. With a moderate climate and productive farmland, Moldova's economy relies heavily on its agriculture sector, featuring fruits, vegetables, wine, wheat, and tobacco. Moldova also depends on annual remittances of about $1.2 billion - almost 15% of GDP - from the roughly one million Moldovans working in Europe, Israel, Russia, and elsewhere.

With few natural energy resources, Moldova imports almost all of its energy supplies from Russia and Ukraine. Moldova's dependence on Russian energy is underscored by a more than $6 billion debt to Russian natural gas supplier Gazprom, largely the result of unreimbursed natural gas consumption in the breakaway region of Transnistria. Moldova and Romania inaugurated the Ungheni-Iasi natural gas interconnector project in August 2014. The 43-kilometer pipeline between Moldova and Romania, allows for both the import and export of natural gas. Several technical and regulatory delays kept gas from flowing into Moldova until March 2015. Romanian gas exports to Moldova are largely symbolic. In 2018, Moldova awarded a tender to Romanian Transgaz to construct a pipeline connecting Ungheni to Chisinau, bringing the gas to Moldovan population centers. Moldova also seeks to connect with the European power grid by 2022.

The government's stated goal of EU integration has resulted in some market-oriented progress. Moldova experienced better than expected economic growth in 2017, largely driven by increased consumption, increased revenue from agricultural exports, and improved tax collection. During fall 2014, Moldova signed an Association Agreement and a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the EU (AA/DCFTA), connecting Moldovan products to the world’s largest market. The EU AA/DCFTA has contributed to significant growth in Moldova’s exports to the EU. In 2017, the EU purchased over 65% of Moldova’s exports, a major change from 20 years previously when the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) received over 69% of Moldova’s exports. A $1 billion asset-stripping heist of Moldovan banks in late 2014 delivered a significant shock to the economy in 2015; the subsequent bank bailout increased inflationary pressures and contributed to the depreciation of the leu and a minor recession. Moldova’s growth has also been hampered by endemic corruption, which limits business growth and deters foreign investment, and Russian restrictions on imports of Moldova’s agricultural products. The government’s push to restore stability and implement meaningful reform led to the approval in 2016 of a $179 million three-year IMF program focused on improving the banking and fiscal environments, along with additional assistance programs from the EU, World Bank, and Romania. Moldova received two IMF tranches in 2017, totaling over $42.5 million.

Over the longer term, Moldova's economy remains vulnerable to corruption, political uncertainty, weak administrative capacity, vested bureaucratic interests, energy import dependence, Russian political and economic pressure, heavy dependence on agricultural exports, and unresolved separatism in Moldova's Transnistria region.

GDP (purchasing power parity)$34.68 billion (2019 est.)

$33.482 billion (2018 est.)

$32.101 billion (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$11.982 billion (2019 est.)
GDP - real growth rate4.5% (2017 est.)

4.3% (2016 est.)

-0.4% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$13,050 (2019 est.)

$12,373 (2018 est.)

$11,651 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars
Gross national saving16.8% of GDP (2019 est.)

15.1% of GDP (2018 est.)

16.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 85.8% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 19% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 21.9% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 1.4% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 42.5% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -70.7% (2017 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 17.7% (2017 est.)

industry: 20.3% (2017 est.)

services: 62% (2017 est.)
Ease of Doing Business Index scoresOverall score: 74.4 (2020)

Starting a Business score: 95.7 (2020)

Trading score: 92.3 (2020)

Enforcement score: 63.6 (2020)
Population below poverty line7.3% (2018 est.)
Labor force1.295 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 32.3%

industry: 12%

services: 55.7% (2017 est.)
Unemployment rate4.99% (2019 est.)

3.16% (2018 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 10.4%

male: 11.1%

female: 9.4% (2019 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 4.2%

highest 10%: 22.1% (2014 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index25.7 (2018 est.)

26.8 (2014 est.)
Budgetrevenues: 2.886 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 2.947 billion (2017 est.)

note: National Public Budget
Taxes and other revenues30.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-0.6% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt31.5% of GDP (2017 est.)

35.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)4.8% (2019 est.)

3% (2018 est.)

6.5% (2017 est.)
Credit ratingsMoody's rating: B3 (2010)
Agriculture - productsmaize, wheat, sunflower seed, grapes, apples, sugar beet, milk, potatoes, barley, plums/sloes
Industriessugar processing, vegetable oil, food processing, agricultural machinery; foundry equipment, refrigerators and freezers, washing machines; hosiery, shoes, textiles
Industrial production growth rate3% (2017 est.)
Current Account Balance-$602 million (2017 est.)

-$268 million (2016 est.)
Exports$3.985 billion (2019 est.)

$3.826 billion (2018 est.)

$3.57 billion (2017 est.)
Exports - commoditiesinsulated wiring, sunflower seeds, wine, corn, seats (2019)
Exports - partnersRomania 27%, Russia 9%, Italy 9%, Germany 9%, Turkey 6%, Poland 5% (2019)
Imports$7.113 billion (2019 est.)

$6.765 billion (2018 est.)

$6.165 billion (2017 est.)
Imports - commoditiesrefined petroleum, cars, insulated wiring, packaged medicines, broadcasting equipment (2019)
Imports - partnersRomania 20%, Russia 10%, Ukraine 9%, Germany 8%, China 7%, Turkey 6%, Italy 6% (2019)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$2.803 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$2.206 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external$7.232 billion (2019 est.)

$7.16 billion (2018 est.)
Exchange ratesMoldovan lei (MDL) per US dollar -

18.49 (2017 est.)

19.924 (2016 est.)

19.924 (2015 est.)

19.83 (2014 est.)

14.036 (2013 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on September 18, 2021

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