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Moldova Economy Profile 2019

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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)
$23.72 billion (2017 est.)
$22.69 billion (2016 est.)
$21.75 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)
$9.556 billion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate
4.5% (2017 est.)
4.3% (2016 est.)
-0.4% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)
$6,700 (2017 est.)
$6,400 (2016 est.)
$6,100 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Gross national saving
13.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
15.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
14.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use
household 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 sector
agriculture: 17.7% (2017 est.)
industry: 20.3% (2017 est.)
services: 62% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line
9.6% (2015 est.)
Labor force
1.295 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupation
agriculture: 32.3%
industry: 12%
services: 55.7% (2017 est.)
Unemployment rate
4.1% (2017 est.)
4.2% (2016 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24
total: 7.4%
male: 7.5%
female: 7.2% (2018 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: 4.2%
highest 10%: 22.1% (2014 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index
26.8 (2015 est.)
26.8 (2014 est.)
Budget
revenues: 2.886 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 2.947 billion (2017 est.)

note: National Public Budget

Taxes and other revenues
30.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)
-0.6% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt
31.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
35.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
6.6% (2017 est.)
6.4% (2016 est.)
Central bank discount rate
6.5% (31 December 2017)
9% (31 December 2016)

note: this is the basic rate on short-term operations

Commercial bank prime lending rate
10.36% (31 December 2017 est.)
14.28% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money
$2.026 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.406 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money
$2.026 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.406 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit
$2.135 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.942 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares
$18.42 million (31 December 2015 est.)
$9.723 million (31 December 2015 est.)
$50.47 million (31 December 2014 est.)
Agriculture - products
vegetables, fruits, grapes, grain, sugar beets, sunflower seeds, tobacco; beef, milk; wine
Industries
sugar processing, vegetable oil, food processing, agricultural machinery; foundry equipment, refrigerators and freezers, washing machines; hosiery, shoes, textiles
Industrial production growth rate
3% (2017 est.)
Current Account Balance
-$602 million (2017 est.)
-$268 million (2016 est.)
Exports
$1.858 billion (2017 est.)
$2.045 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities
foodstuffs, textiles, machinery
Exports - partners
Romania 24.6%, Russia 13.7%, Italy 9.1%, Germany 6.2%, Ukraine 5.3%, UK 4.6%, Poland 4.6% (2017)
Imports
$4.427 billion (2017 est.)
$3.635 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities
mineral products and fuel, machinery and equipment, chemicals, textiles
Imports - partners
Romania 15.5%, Ukraine 11.4%, Russia 10.6%, China 10.4%, Germany 8.9%, Italy 6.9%, Turkey 6.1% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
$2.803 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.206 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external
$6.549 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$6.138 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home
$3.701 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$3.581 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad
$252.7 million (31 December 2017)
$206.1 million (31 December 2016)
Exchange rates
Moldovan 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 year
calendar year

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

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