The Economy of Albania

The Economy of Albania

Albanian Economy

Economy - overview: Lagging behind its Balkan neighbors, Albania is making the difficult transition to a more modern open-market economy. Macroeconomic growth has averaged around 5% over the last five years and inflation is low and stable. The government has taken measures to curb violent crime, and recently adopted a fiscal reform package aimed at reducing the large gray economy and attracting foreign investment. The economy is bolstered by annual remittances from abroad representing about 15% of GDP, mostly from Albanians residing in Greece and Italy; this helps offset the towering trade deficit. The agricultural sector, which accounts for over half of employment but only about one-fifth of GDP, is limited primarily to small family operations and subsistence farming because of lack of modern equipment, unclear property rights, and the prevalence of small, inefficient plots of land. Energy shortages because of a reliance on hydropower, and antiquated and inadequate infrastructure contribute to Albania's poor business environment and lack of success in attracting new foreign investment. The completion of a new thermal power plant near Vlore has helped diversify generation capacity, and plans to improve transmission lines between Albania and Montenegro and Kosovo would help relieve the energy shortages. Also, with help from EU funds, the government is taking steps to improve the poor national road and rail network, a long-standing barrier to sustained economic growth.


GDP - real growth rate: 6.1% (2008 est.) 6% (2007 est.) 5.5% (2006 est.)

GDP - per capita:

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 20.6% industry: 19.9% services: 59.5% (2008 est.)

Population below poverty line:

Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 3.4% highest 10%: 24.4% (2004)

Distribution of family income - Gini index: 26.7 (2005)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

Labor force: 1.09 million (not including 352,000 emigrant workers) (September 2006 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 58% industry: 15% services: 27% (September 2006 est.)

Unemployment rate: 12.5% official rate, but may exceed 30% due to preponderance of near-subsistence farming (2008 est.)

Budget: revenues: $3.771 billion expenditures: $4.538 billion (2008 est.)

Industries: food processing, textiles and clothing; lumber, oil, cement, chemicals, mining, basic metals, hydropower

Industrial production growth rate: 3% (2008 est.)

Electricity - production: 2.892 billion kWh (2007 est.)

Electricity - production by source:

Electricity - consumption: 3.607 billion kWh (2007 est.)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2007 est.)

Electricity - imports: 2.8 billion kWh (2007 est.)

Oil - production: 6,425 bbl/day (2007 est.)

Oil - consumption: 30,900 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Oil - exports: 748.9 bbl/day (2005 est.)

Oil - imports: 24,860 bbl/day (2005 est.)

Oil - proved reserves: 199.1 million bbl (1 January 2008 est.)

Natural gas - production: 30 million cu m (2006 est.)

Natural gas - consumption: 30 million cu m (2006 est.)

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

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

Natural gas - proved reserves: 849.5 million cu m (1 January 2008 est.)

Agriculture - products: wheat, corn, potatoes, vegetables, fruits, sugar beets, grapes; meat, dairy products

Exports: $1.416 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Exports - commodities: textiles and footwear; asphalt, metals and metallic ores, crude oil; vegetables, fruits, tobacco

Exports - partners: Italy 72%, Greece 8.8%, China 2.7% (2007)

Imports: $4.844 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, textiles, chemicals

Imports - partners: Italy 27.6%, Greece 14.8%, Turkey 7.4%, China 6.8%, Germany 5.6%, Switzerland 5%, Russia 4.2% (2007)

Debt - external: $1.55 billion (2004)

Economic aid - recipient:


Currency code:

Exchange rates: leke (ALL) per US dollar - 79.546 (2008 est.), 92.668 (2007), 98.384 (2006), 102.649 (2005), 102.78 (2004)

Fiscal year:

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