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Nepal Economy Profile 2019

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Economy - overview

Nepal is among the least developed countries in the world, with about one-quarter of its population living below the poverty line. Nepal is heavily dependent on remittances, which amount to as much as 30% of GDP. Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy, providing a livelihood for almost two-thirds of the population but accounting for less than a third of GDP. Industrial activity mainly involves the processing of agricultural products, including pulses, jute, sugarcane, tobacco, and grain.

Nepal has considerable scope for exploiting its potential in hydropower, with an estimated 42,000 MW of commercially feasible capacity. Nepal has signed trade and investment agreements with India, China, and other countries, but political uncertainty and a difficult business climate have hampered foreign investment. The United States and Nepal signed a $500 million Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact in September 2017 which will expand Nepal’s electricity infrastructure and help maintain transportation infrastructure.

Massive earthquakes struck Nepal in early 2015, which damaged or destroyed infrastructure and homes and set back economic development. Although political gridlock and lack of capacity have hindered post-earthquake recovery, government-led reconstruction efforts have progressively picked up speed, although many hard hit areas still have seen little assistance. Additional challenges to Nepal's growth include its landlocked geographic location, inconsistent electricity supply, and underdeveloped transportation infrastructure.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$79.19 billion (2017 est.)
$73.39 billion (2016 est.)
$72.96 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)
$24.88 billion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate
7.9% (2017 est.)
0.6% (2016 est.)
3.3% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)
$2,700 (2017 est.)
$2,500 (2016 est.)
$2,500 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Gross national saving
45.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
40.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
44% of GDP (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use
household consumption: 78% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 11.7% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 33.8% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: 8.7% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 9.8% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -42% (2017 est.)
GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 27% (2017 est.)
industry: 13.5% (2017 est.)
services: 59.5% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line
25.2% (2011 est.)
Labor force
16.81 million (2017 est.)

note: severe lack of skilled labor

Labor force - by occupation
agriculture: 69%
industry: 12%
services: 19% (2015 est.)
Unemployment rate
3% (2017 est.)
3.2% (2016 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: 3.2%
highest 10%: 29.5% (2011)
Distribution of family income - Gini index
32.8 (2010)
47.2 (2008 est.)
Budget
revenues: 5.925 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 5.945 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues
23.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)
-0.1% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt
26.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
27.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
4.5% (2017 est.)
9.9% (2016 est.)
Central bank discount rate
7% (30 July 2017)
7% (30 July 2016)
Commercial bank prime lending rate
11.3% (31 December 2017 est.)
8.9% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money
$5.505 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$4.857 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money
$5.505 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$4.857 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit
$21.99 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$17.94 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares
$17.57 billion (31 October 2017 est.)
$19.4 billion (31 October 2016 est.)
$11.37 billion (31 October 2015 est.)
Agriculture - products
pulses, rice, corn, wheat, sugarcane, jute, root crops; milk, water buffalo meat
Industries
tourism, carpets, textiles; small rice, jute, sugar, and oilseed mills; cigarettes, cement and brick production
Industrial production growth rate
12.4% (2017 est.)
Current Account Balance
-$93 million (2017 est.)
$1.339 billion (2016 est.)
Exports
$818.7 million (2017 est.)
$761.6 million (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities
clothing, pulses, carpets, textiles, juice, jute goods
Exports - partners
India 53.1%, US 11.8%, Turkey 7.2% (2017)
Imports
$10 billion (2017 est.)
$8.764 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities
petroleum products, machinery and equipment, gold, electrical goods, medicine
Imports - partners
India 70.2%, China 7.5% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
$9.091 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$8.506 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external
$5.849 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$4.321 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home
$103 million (31 July 2013 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad

NA

Exchange rates
Nepalese rupees (NPR) per US dollar -
104 (2017 est.)
107.38 (2016 est.)
107.38 (2015 est.)
102.41 (2014 est.)
99.53 (2013 est.)
Fiscal year
16 July - 15 July

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

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