Kiribati - Economy



Kiribati's economy was supported by revenues from phosphate mining on Banaba until the deposits were exhausted in 1979. Since then, the nation has relied on fishing, subsistence agriculture, and exports of copra, recently 80–95% of exports, and fish, 4–20% of exports. The country is heavily dependent on aid from the United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and China. Aid equals 25–50% of GDP, while tourism provides about 20%. In the 1990s, GDP increased steadily, peaking at A $80.3 million in 1999, and then fell by 2.7% and 1.2%, respectively, in 2000 and 2001, to A $78.1 million and A $77.2 million, respectively. GNP runs between 1.5 to 2 times the size of GDP. In 2001, GNP was A $136.9 million, 177% of GDP. Per capita GDP in 2000 was A $843 and per capita GNP was A $1,495. Inflation, at 0.4% in 2000 as measured by consumer prices, was increased to 9.4% in 2001. Unemployment was officially 2%, but underemployment was estimated by the government to be about 70% by a 1992 estimate.

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