The Economy of Libya

The Economy of Libya

Libyan Economy

Economy - overview: The Libyan economy depends primarily upon revenues from the oil sector, which contribute about 95% of export earnings, about one-quarter of GDP, and 60% of public sector wages. The expected weakness in world hydrocarbon prices throughout 2009 will reduce Libyan government tax income and constrain Libyan economic growth in 2009. Substantial revenues from the energy sector coupled with a small population give Libya one of the highest per capita GDPs in Africa, but little of this income flows down to the lower orders of society. Libyan officials in the past five years have made progress on economic reforms as part of a broader campaign to reintegrate the country into the international fold. This effort picked up steam after UN sanctions were lifted in September 2003 and as Libya announced in December 2003 that it would abandon programs to build weapons of mass destruction. UN Sanctions against Libya were lifted in September 2003. The process of lifting US unilateral sanctions began in the spring of 2004; all sanctions were removed by June 2006, helping Libya attract greater foreign direct investment, especially in the energy sector. Libyan oil and gas licensing rounds continue to draw high international interest; the National Oil Company set a goal of nearly doubling oil production to 3 million bbl/day by 2012. Libya faces a long road ahead in liberalizing the socialist-oriented economy, but initial steps - including applying for WTO membership, reducing some subsidies, and announcing plans for privatization - are laying the groundwork for a transition to a more market-based economy. The non-oil manufacturing and construction sectors, which account for more than 20% of GDP, have expanded from processing mostly agricultural products to include the production of petrochemicals, iron, steel, and aluminum. Climatic conditions and poor soils severely limit agricultural output, and Libya imports about 75% of its food. Libya's primary agricultural water source remains the Great Manmade River Project, but significant resources are being invested in desalinization research to meet growing water demands.


GDP - real growth rate: 6.3% (2008 est.) 6.8% (2007 est.) 5.9% (2006 est.)

GDP - per capita:

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 1.5% industry: 61.7% services: 36.8% (2008 est.)

Population below poverty line:

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

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

Labor force: 1.916 million (2008 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 17% industry: 23% services: 59% (2004 est.)

Unemployment rate: 30% (2004 est.)

Budget: revenues: $56.35 billion expenditures: $29.12 billion (2008 est.)

Industries: petroleum, iron and steel, food processing, textiles, handicrafts, cement

Industrial production growth rate: 5.8% (2008 est.)

Electricity - production: 23.98 billion kWh (2007 est.)

Electricity - production by source:

Electricity - consumption: 20.71 billion kWh (2006 est.)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2007 est.)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2007 est.)

Oil - production: 1.845 million bbl/day (2007 est.)

Oil - consumption: 278,700 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Oil - exports: 1.455 million bbl/day (2005)

Oil - imports: 575.3 bbl/day (2005)

Oil - proved reserves: 41.46 billion bbl (1 January 2008 est.)

Natural gas - production: 14.8 billion cu m (2006 est.)

Natural gas - consumption: 6.39 billion cu m (2006 est.)

Natural gas - exports: 9.9 billion cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves: 1.419 trillion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)

Agriculture - products: wheat, barley, olives, dates, citrus, vegetables, peanuts, soybeans; cattle

Exports: $66.13 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Exports - commodities: crude oil, refined petroleum products, natural gas, chemicals

Exports - partners: Italy 40.5%, Germany 12.2%, US 7.4%, Spain 7.4%, France 6.3% (2007)

Imports: $20.64 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Imports - commodities: machinery, semi-finished goods, food, transport equipment, consumer products

Imports - partners: Italy 18.9%, Germany 7.7%, China 7.3%, Tunisia 6.8%, France 5.7%, Turkey 5.4%, US 4.3% (2007)

Debt - external: $5.521 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Economic aid - recipient:


Currency code:

Exchange rates: Libyan dinars (LYD) per US dollar - 1.2112 (2008 est.), 1.2604 (2007), 1.3108 (2006), 1.3084 (2005), 1.305 (2004)

Fiscal year:

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