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    Korea, North Economy - 2004

      Economy - overview:
      North Korea, one of the world's most centrally planned and isolated economies, faces desperate economic conditions. Industrial capital stock is nearly beyond repair as a result of years of underinvestment and spare parts shortages. Industrial and power output have declined in parallel. The nation has suffered its tenth year of food shortages because of a lack of arable land, collective farming, weather-related problems, and chronic shortages of fertilizer and fuel. Massive international food aid deliveries have allowed the regime to escape mass starvation since 1995-96, but the population remains the victim of prolonged malnutrition and deteriorating living conditions. Large-scale military spending eats up resources needed for investment and civilian consumption. In 2003, heightened political tensions with key donor countries and general donor fatigue threatened the flow of desperately needed food aid and fuel aid as well. Black market prices continued to rise following the increase in official prices and wages in the summer of 2002, leaving some vulnerable groups, such as the elderly and unemployed, less able to buy goods. The regime, however, relaxed restrictions on farmers' market activities in spring 2003, leading to an expansion of market activity.

      purchasing power parity - $22.85 billion (2003 est.)

      GDP - real growth rate:
      1% (2003 est.)

      GDP - per capita:
      purchasing power parity - $1,000 (2003 est.)

      GDP - composition by sector:
      agriculture: 30.2%
      industry: 33.8%
      services: 36% (2002 est.)

      Population below poverty line:

      Household income or consumption by percentage share:
      lowest 10%: NA%
      highest 10%: NA%

      Inflation rate (consumer prices):
      NA% (2003 est.)

      Labor force:
      9.6 million

      Labor force - by occupation:
      agricultural 36%, nonagricultural 64%

      Unemployment rate:
      NA% (2003)

      revenues: $NA
      expenditures: $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA

      military products; machine building, electric power, chemicals; mining (coal, iron ore, magnesite, graphite, copper, zinc, lead, and precious metals), metallurgy; textiles, food processing; tourism

      Industrial production growth rate:

      Electricity - production:
      30.01 billion kWh (2001)

      Electricity - production by source:
      fossil fuel: 29%
      hydro: 71%
      other: 0% (2001)
      nuclear: 0%

      Electricity - consumption:
      27.91 billion kWh (2001)

      Electricity - exports:
      0 kWh (2001)

      Electricity - imports:
      0 kWh (2001)

      Oil - production:
      0 bbl/day (2001 est.)

      Oil - consumption:
      85,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)

      Oil - exports:

      Oil - imports:

      Agriculture - products:
      rice, corn, potatoes, soybeans, pulses; cattle, pigs, pork, eggs

      $1.044 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)

      Exports - commodities:
      minerals, metallurgical products, manufactures (including armaments); textiles and fishery products

      Exports - partners:
      South Korea 28.5%, China 28.4%, Japan 24.7% (2002)

      $2.042 billion c.i.f. (2002 est.)

      Imports - commodities:
      petroleum, coking coal, machinery and equipment; textiles, grain

      Imports - partners:
      China 39.7%, Thailand 14.6%, Japan 11.2%, Germany 7.6%, South Korea 6.2% (2002)

      Debt - external:
      $12 billion (1996 est.)

      Economic aid - recipient:
      $NA; note - over $133 million in food aid through the World Food Program in 2003 plus additional aid from bilateral donors and non-governmental organizations

      North Korean won (KPW)

      Currency code:

      Exchange rates:
      official: North Korean won per US dollar - 150 (December 2002), 2.15 (December 2001), 2.15 (May 1994), 2.13 (May 1992), 2.14 (September 1991), 2.1 (January 1990); market: North Korean won per US dollar - 300-600 (December 2002), 200 (December 2001)

      Fiscal year:
      calendar year

      NOTE: The information regarding Korea, North on this page is re-published from the 2004 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Korea, North Economy 2004 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Korea, North Economy 2004 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 21-May-04
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