Country Listing

Czechoslovakia Table of Contents



Gross National Product (GNP): Estimated US$135.6 billion in 1985. Per capita GNP US$8,700. Growth moderate in first half of 1980s. In 1985 real growth rate 1.6 percent. Economy centrally planned with command links controlled by communist party, similar to Soviet Union.

Energy and Mining: Country energy short, relying on imported crude oil and natural gas from Soviet Union, domestic brown coal, and nuclear and hydroelectric energy. Energy constraints a major factor in 1980s. Large metallurgical industry but dependent on imports for iron and nonferrous ores.

Industry: Extractive and manufacturing industries dominate sector. Major branches include machinery, chemicals, food processing, metallurgy, and textiles. In 1985 production of pig iron 9.6 million tons, crude steel 15 million tons, and cement 10.3 million tons. Industry wasteful of energy, materials, and labor and slow to upgrade technology, but country source of high-quality machinery and arms for other communist countries.

Agriculture: Minor sector but supplied bulk of food needs. Dependent on large imports of grains (mainly for livestock feed) in years of adverse weather. In 1980s a good harvests resulted in decreased reliance on imports. Meat production constrained by shortage of feed, but high per capita consumption of meat.

Foreign Trade: Exports estimated at US$17.8 billion in 1985, of which 55 percent machinery, 14 percent fuels and materials, 16 percent manufactured consumer goods, 7 percent agricultural and forestry products and 8 percent other. Imports at estimated US$17.9 billion in 1985, of which 41 percent fuels and materials, 33 percent machinery, 12 percent agricultural and forestry products, 6 percent manufactured consumer goods and 8 percent other. In 1986, about 80 percent of foreign trade with communist countries.

Exchange Rate: Official, or commercial, rate Kcs 5.4 per US$1 in 1987; tourist, or noncommercial, rate Kcs 10.5 per US$1. Neither rate reflected purchasing power.

Fiscal Year: Calendar year.

Fiscal Policy: State almost exclusive owner of means of production. Revenues from state enterprises primary source of revenues followed by turnover tax. Large budget expenditures on social programs, subsidies, and investments. Budget usually balanced or small surplus.

Data as of August 1987