The value of the Iraqi dinar has declined steadily on the world market over a period of 20 years, making it increasingly harder for the average Iraqi to afford imported goods. The value of the dinar held steady until the beginning of the Iran-Iraq war, but that trend was reversed with the collapse of oil prices in mid-1980s. The dinar, which sold at ID0.3109=US$1 in 1982 (which is still the official rate set by the Iraqi government), was further weakened in the aftermath of the Gulf War, reaching a
|GDP per Capita (US$)|
|Note: Data are estimates.|
|SOURCE: Handbook of the Nations , 17th,18th, 19th and 20th editions for 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999 data; CIA World Factbook 2001 [Online] for 2000 data.|
low of ID2,660:US$1 in December 1995. Despite occasional peaks, the value of the dinar against the U.S. dollar has held steady in the last 2 years at ID2,000:US$1 on the black market, the same rate sold by state banks since June 1999. However, the dinar's instability is likely to persist as a result of the uncertain political and the continuation of the UN sanctions.
Iraq has a single stock market, established in Baghdad in March 1992 in the wake of the privatization of state enterprises. Trading, however, remains thin due to the uncertain political conditions prevailing in the country.