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Syria Economy Profile 2019

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Economy - overview

Syria's economy has deeply deteriorated amid the ongoing conflict that began in 2011, declining by more than 70% from 2010 to 2017. The government has struggled to fully address the effects of international sanctions, widespread infrastructure damage, diminished domestic consumption and production, reduced subsidies, and high inflation, which have caused dwindling foreign exchange reserves, rising budget and trade deficits, a decreasing value of the Syrian pound, and falling household purchasing power. In 2017, some economic indicators began to stabilize, including the exchange rate and inflation, but economic activity remains depressed and GDP almost certainly fell.

During 2017, the ongoing conflict and continued unrest and economic decline worsened the humanitarian crisis, necessitating high levels of international assistance, as more than 13 million people remain in need inside Syria, and the number of registered Syrian refugees increased from 4.8 million in 2016 to more than 5.4 million.

Prior to the turmoil, Damascus had begun liberalizing economic policies, including cutting lending interest rates, opening private banks, consolidating multiple exchange rates, raising prices on some subsidized items, and establishing the Damascus Stock Exchange, but the economy remains highly regulated. Long-run economic constraints include foreign trade barriers, declining oil production, high unemployment, rising budget deficits, increasing pressure on water supplies caused by heavy use in agriculture, industrial contaction, water pollution, and widespread infrastructure damage.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$50.28 billion (2015 est.)
$55.8 billion (2014 est.)
$61.9 billion (2013 est.)
note: data are in 2015 US dollars
the war-driven deterioration of the economy resulted in a disappearance of quality national level statistics in the 2012-13 period
GDP (official exchange rate)
$24.6 billion (2014 est.) (2014 est.)
GDP - real growth rate
-36.5% (2014 est.)
-30.9% (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 dollars

GDP - per capita (PPP)
$2,900 (2015 est.)
$3,300 (2014 est.)
$2,800 (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Gross national saving
17% of GDP (2017 est.)
15.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
16.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use
household consumption: 73.1% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 26% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 18.6% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: 12.3% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 16.1% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -46.1% (2017 est.)
GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 20% (2017 est.)
industry: 19.5% (2017 est.)
services: 60.8% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line
82.5% (2014 est.)
Labor force
3.767 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupation
agriculture: 17%
industry: 16%
services: 67% (2008 est.)
Unemployment rate
50% (2017 est.)
50% (2016 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24
total: 35.8%
male: 26.6%
female: 71.1% (2011 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: NA
highest 10%: NA
Budget
revenues: 1.162 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 3.211 billion (2017 est.)

note: government projections for FY2016

Taxes and other revenues
4.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)
-8.7% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt
94.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
91.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
28.1% (2017 est.)
47.3% (2016 est.)
Central bank discount rate
0.75% (31 December 2017)
5% (31 December 2016)
Commercial bank prime lending rate
14% (31 December 2017 est.)
22% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money
$7.272 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$4.333 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money
$7.272 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$4.333 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit
$9.161 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$5.786 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares

NA

Agriculture - products
wheat, barley, cotton, lentils, chickpeas, olives, sugar beets; beef, mutton, eggs, poultry, milk
Industries
petroleum, textiles, food processing, beverages, tobacco, phosphate rock mining, cement, oil seeds crushing, automobile assembly
Industrial production growth rate
4.3% (2017 est.)
Current Account Balance
-$2.123 billion (2017 est.)
-$2.077 billion (2016 est.)
Exports
$1.85 billion (2017 est.)
$1.705 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities
crude oil, minerals, petroleum products, fruits and vegetables, cotton fiber, textiles, clothing, meat and live animals, wheat
Exports - partners
Lebanon 31.5%, Iraq 10.3%, Jordan 8.8%, China 7.8%, Turkey 7.5%, Spain 7.3% (2017)
Imports
$6.279 billion (2017 est.)
$5.496 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities
machinery and transport equipment, electric power machinery, food and livestock, metal and metal products, chemicals and chemical products, plastics, yarn, paper
Imports - partners
Russia 32.4%, Turkey 16.7%, China 9.5% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
$407.3 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$504.6 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external
$4.989 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$5.085 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange rates
Syrian pounds (SYP) per US dollar -
514.6 (2017 est.)
459.2 (2016 est.)
459.2 (2015 est.)
236.41 (2014 est.)
153.695 (2013 est.)
Fiscal year
calendar year

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

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