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Turkmenistan Economy Profile

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Economy - overview

Turkmenistan is largely a desert country with intensive agriculture in irrigated oases and significant natural gas and oil resources. The two largest crops are cotton, most of which is produced for export, and wheat, which is domestically consumed. Although agriculture accounts for almost 8% of GDP, it continues to employ nearly half of the country's workforce. Hydrocarbon exports, the bulk of which is natural gas going to China, make up 25% of Turkmenistan’s GDP. Ashgabat has explored two initiatives to bring gas to new markets: a trans-Caspian pipeline that would carry gas to Europe and the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline. Both face major financing, political, and security hurdles and are unlikely to be completed soon.

Turkmenistan’s autocratic governments under presidents NIYAZOW (1991-2006) and BERDIMUHAMEDOW (since 2007) have made little progress improving the business climate, privatizing state-owned industries, combatting corruption, and limiting economic development outside the energy sector. High energy prices in the mid-2000s allowed the government to undertake extensive development and social spending, including providing heavy utility subsidies.

Low energy prices since mid-2014 are hampering Turkmenistan’s economic growth and reducing government revenues. The government has cut subsidies in several areas, and wage arrears have increased. In January 2014, the Central Bank of Turkmenistan devalued the manat by 19%, and downward pressure on the currency continues. There is a widening spread between the official exchange rate (3.5 TMM per US dollar) and the black market exchange rate (approximately 14 TMM per US dollar). Currency depreciation and conversion restrictions, corruption, isolationist policies, and declining spending on public services have resulted in a stagnate economy that is nearing crisis. Turkmenistan claims substantial foreign currency reserves, but non-transparent data limit international institutions’ ability to verify this information.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$103.7 billion (2017 est.)
$97.41 billion (2016 est.)
$91.72 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)
$37.93 billion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate
6.5% (2017 est.)
6.2% (2016 est.)
6.5% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)
$18,200 (2017 est.)
$17,300 (2016 est.)
$16,500 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Gross national saving
23.9% of GDP (2017 est.)
24.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
18.9% of GDP (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use
household consumption: 50% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 10% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 28.2% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: 0% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 26.2% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -14.3% (2017 est.)
GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 7.5% (2017 est.)
industry: 44.9% (2017 est.)
services: 47.7% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line
0.2% (2012 est.)
Labor force
2.305 million (2013 est.)
Labor force - by occupation
agriculture: 48.2%
industry: 14%
services: 37.8% (2004 est.)
Unemployment rate
11% (2014 est.)
10.6% (2013)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: 2.6%
highest 10%: 31.7% (1998)
Distribution of family income - Gini index
40.8 (1998)
Budget
revenues: 5.657 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 6.714 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues
14.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)
-2.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt
28.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
24.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
8% (2017 est.)
3.6% (2016 est.)
Central bank discount rate
5% (31 December 2014)
5% (31 December 2013)
Commercial bank prime lending rate
19% (31 December 2017 est.)
16% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money
$1.326 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$1.255 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Stock of broad money
$12.23 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$5.632 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Stock of domestic credit
$28.4 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$13.09 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares

NA

Agriculture - products
cotton, grain, melons; livestock
Industries
natural gas, oil, petroleum products, textiles, food processing
Industrial production growth rate
1% (2017 est.)
Current Account Balance
-$4.359 billion (2017 est.)
-$7.207 billion (2016 est.)
Exports
$7.458 billion (2017 est.)
$6.987 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities
gas, crude oil, petrochemicals, textiles, cotton fiber
Exports - partners
China 83.7%, Turkey 5.1% (2017)
Imports
$4.571 billion (2017 est.)
$5.215 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities
machinery and equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs
Imports - partners
Turkey 24.2%, Algeria 14.4%, Germany 9.8%, China 8.9%, Russia 8%, US 6.6% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
$24.91 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$25.05 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external
$539.4 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$425.3 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home
$3.061 billion (2013 est.)
$3.117 billion (2012 est.)
Exchange rates
Turkmenistani manat (TMM) per US dollar -
4.125 (2017 est.)
3.5 (2016 est.)
3.5 (2015 est.)
3.5 (2014 est.)
2.85 (2013 est.)
Fiscal year
calendar year

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on Friday, November 27, 2020

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