Country Listing

Algeria Table of Contents



Salient Features: State-directed economic system undergoing modest market-oriented structural adjustment and decentralization. Central government retains ownership of more than 450 state-owned enterprises. Economy dominated by hydrocarbon sector, mainly oil, but diversifying into natural gas and refined products. Underinvestment in agriculture and other nonoil sectors.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP): In 1992 estimated at US$42 billion. GDP grew at average annual rate of 6.5 percent during 1970s and 4.5 percent during first half of 1980s, largely as result of increasing oil revenues. Economy contracted sharply during latter half of 1980s and early 1990s; per capita GDP declined from US$2,752 in 1987 to US$1,570 in 1992.

Minerals: Hydrocarbon sector, mainstay of economy and main source of exports, constituted 23 percent of GDP in 1990. Exports include crude oil, refined petroleum products, and gas. Nonfuel minerals include high-grade iron ore, phosphate, mercury, and zinc.

Energy: Electricity supplied mainly by gas powered plants. Overall energy consumption quadrupled between 1970s and early 1990s.

Industry: Manufacturing constituted 10 percent of GDP in 1990. Investment concentrated in state-owned heavy industry, mainly steel.

Agriculture: Variably estimated to account for 7 to 11 percent of GDP in 1990 and employing more than 22 percent of labor force. Arable land restricted mainly to coastal strip in north; pastoral agriculture dominant farther south. Production mainly grains, dominated by wheat and barley. Other main crops include grapes, citrus fruits, vegetables, olives, tobacco, and dates. Livestock and poultry production significant but heavily dependent on imported feed. Local consumption heavily reliant on food imports. Landholding, agricultural marketing, and distribution undergoing gradual decentralization and reprivatization.

Foreign Trade: Total exports US$12.7 billion in 1990, of which 96 percent hydrocarbons. Nonhydrocarbon exports include wine, metals and metal products, phosphates, fruits and vegetables, and iron ore. Total imports US$9.8 billion in 1989; include foodstuffs, semifinished goods, industrial and consumer goods.

External Debt: US$26 billion in 1992, mainly held by public sector. Debt service exceeded US$7 billion in 1991. International Monetary Fund standby agreement negotiated in May 1994.

Currency and Exchange Rate: Algerian dinar (DA); US$1 = DA40.7 in October 1994.

Fiscal Year: Calendar year.

Data as of December 1993