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Suriname Economy

Suriname    Economy Top of Page
Economy - overview: The economy is dominated by the bauxite industry, which accounts for more than 15% of GDP and 70% of export earnings. After assuming power in the fall of 1996, the WIJDENBOSCH government ended the structural adjustment program of the previous government, claiming it was unfair to the poorer elements of society. Tax revenues fell as old taxes lapsed and the government failed to implement new tax alternatives. By the end of 1997, the allocation of new Dutch development funds was frozen as Surinamese Government relations with the Netherlands deteriorated. Economic growth slowed in 1998, with decline in the mining, construction, and utility sectors. Rampant government expenditures, poor tax collection, a bloated civil service, and reduced foreign aid in 1999 contributed to the fiscal deficit, estimated at 11% of GDP. The government sought to cover this deficit through monetary expansion, which led to a dramatic increase in inflation and exchange rate depreciation. Suriname's economic prospects for the medium term will depend on renewed commitment to responsible monetary and fiscal policies and to the introduction of structural reforms to liberalize markets and promote competition. The new government of Ronald VENETIAAN has begun an austerity program, raised taxes, and attempted to control spending. the exchange rate has responded by stabilizing. The Dutch Government has restarted the aid flow, which will allow Suriname to access international development financing.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $1.48 billion (1999 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: -1% (1999 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $3,400 (1999 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture:  13%

industry:  22%

services:  65% (1998 est.)
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%:  NA%

highest 10%:  NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 78% (2000 est.)
Labor force: 100,000
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture NA%, industry NA%, services NA%
Unemployment rate: 20% (1997)
Budget: revenues:  $393 million

expenditures:  $403 million, including capital expenditures of $34 million (1997 est.)
Industries: bauxite and gold mining, alumina production, lumbering, food processing, fishing
Industrial production growth rate: 6.5% (1994 est.)
Electricity - production: 1.937 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel:  25.92%

hydro:  74.08%

nuclear:  0%

other:  0% (1999)
Electricity - consumption: 1.801 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1999)
Agriculture - products: paddy rice, bananas, palm kernels, coconuts, plantains, peanuts; beef, chickens; forest products; shrimp
Exports: $443 million (f.o.b., 1999)
Exports - commodities: alumina, crude oil, lumber, shrimp and fish, rice, bananas
Exports - partners: US 23%, Norway 19%, Netherlands 11%, France, Japan, UK (1999)
Imports: $525 million (f.o.b., 1999)
Imports - commodities: capital equipment, petroleum, foodstuffs, cotton, consumer goods
Imports - partners: US 35%, Netherlands 15%, Trinidad and Tobago 12%, Japan, UK, Brazil (1999)
Debt - external: $512 million (2000 est.)
Economic aid - recipient: Netherlands provided $37 million for project and program assistance, European Development Fund $4 million, Belgium $2 million (1998)
Currency: Surinamese guilder (SRG)
Currency code: SRG
Exchange rates: Surinamese guilders per US dollar - 2,178.50 (December 2000), 987.50 (December 1999), 401.00 (December 1998), 401.00 (December 1997), 401.26 (December 1996)

note:  beginning in July 1994, the central bank midpoint exchange rate was unified and became market determined; during 1998, the exchange rate splintered into four distinct rates; in January 1999 the government floated the guilder, but subsequently fixed it when the black-market rate plunged; the government currently allows trading within a band of SRG 500 around the official rate
Fiscal year: calendar year


Countryfacts Information Courtesy: CIA Worldbook

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