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Economy > Summary: Countries Compared

DEFINITION: Country economy.
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION
Albania Albania is transforming into to a market economy, but is poor by Western European standards. Agriculture is a key sector and a major employer
Algeria Algeria is a key oil and gas supplier
Angola One of Africa's leading oil producers, but most people still live on less than US $1 a day. Experiencing a post-war reconstruction boom
Antigua and Barbuda Tourism and banking are key sectors in the services-based economy. Both were hit hard by the 2008 global economic crisis
Argentina The economy is still struggling after hitting rock bottom in 2001
Armenia Closed borders with Turkey and Azerbaijan have produced economic isolation. Poverty and unemployment are persistent
Australia The strong, services-based economy has seen sustained growth; mining and agriculture provide the lion's share of exports
Austria Banking and insurance predominate. A strong industrial sector depends on exports, with Germany a key market. An austerity package aims to balance the budget by 2016
Azerbaijan Huge oil export revenues have funded infrastructure projects and boosted living standards
Bahrain Bahrain is a banking and financial services centre; its small and reasonably prosperous economy is less dependent on oil than most Gulf states
Barbados Tourism, financial services and the sugar industry are economic mainstays
Belarus Soviet-style economy is subsidised by cheap Russian gas
Belgium Belgium is seen as a bellwether for the wider EU economy. Industries include chemicals, pharmaceuticals and car-making. The IMF says Belgium is vulnerable to eurozone turmoil, partly because of its high public debt
Belize Belize is struggling with a large national debt. Tourism and service industries have overtaken agriculture and fishing as key earners
Benin Benin to benefit from G8 commitment to write off debt. It is pressing Western cotton producing countries to compete more fairly by cutting subsidies to their farmers
Bolivia Poverty is rife and there are regional disparities in wealth distribution; Mr Morales opposes free-trade policies and has tightened state control over the economy, nationalising the energy sector and key utilities
Botswana Recent economic growth has been high by African standards. The government sees diversification out of diamonds as a priority
Brazil Brazil has Latin America's largest economy; there has been steady growth
Bulgaria Bulgaria is one of the EU's poorest countries. Organised crime and corruption have deterred investors and hindered growth
Burkina Faso The UN rates Burkina Faso as the world's third poorest country
Burma Myanmar is one of Asia's poorest countries; its economy is under-developed and riddled with corruption
Burundi Half the population lives below the poverty line. Coffee and tea account for most of the foreign currency earnings
Chad Chad is enjoying an oil boom. Changes to rules governing how revenues can be spent have been controversial. Chad ranks as the world's most corrupt state
Chile Chile has one of Latin America's strongest economies; high world prices for its copper have swollen state coffers
Colombia Despite strong growth in recent years, millions live in poverty; a free trade deal with the US has been signed
Comoros Comoros is heavily reliant on aid and remittances from the diaspora
Costa Rica One of Central America's most affluent countries; Costa Ricans voters narrowly approved a free trade deal with the US in 2007
Cote d'Ivoire Ivory Coast is world's leading cocoa producer; UN sanctions imposed in 2004 include an arms embargo and a ban on diamond exports
Croatia Service industries predominate. Shipbuilding is a mainstay of manufacturing
Cuba US economic embargo has been in force since 1961; since collapse of USSR and loss of Soviet aid, there have been several tentative moves towards economic liberalisation
Cyprus Cyprus has one of the eurozone's smallest economies. Its large banking sector has suffered from exposure to Greek debt
Czech Republic The country underwent its longest-ever recession from the end of 2011 to the spring of 2013
Denmark Denmark, an EU member, has rejected the euro but pegs the krone to the single currency. The economy is services-based
Ecuador Ecuador exports oil but many people live in poverty; indigenous groups oppose free trade policies
Egypt The Egyptian economy is the second largest in the Arab world after Saudi Arabia, but struggles to support the growing population
El Salvador Fettered by natural disasters, corruption and inequality, El Salvador's economy is heavily dependent on remittances from abroad, especially the US
Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea is sub-Saharan Africa's third biggest oil producer. Oil earnings are allegedly stolen by the ruling elite
Eritrea Eritrea is said to be on the brink of a mining boom; it is heavily dependent on earnings of the diaspora
Estonia Estonia has experienced rapid growth. Key sectors include manufacturing and IT. Estonia joined the eurozone in 2011
Ethiopia One of fastest growing non-oil economies in Africa. Depends heavily on agriculture, which is often affected by drought. Coffee is a key export
Finland A eurozone member since 2002, Finland has an export-driven economy. Phone maker Nokia is its biggest company
France France has the eurozone's second-largest economy and is a leading industrial power, but has struggled to emerge from recession since 2008
Gabon The country is trying to diversify away from oil, whose earnings have been decreasing. Most of the population remains poor
Gambia One of Africa's smallest countries has few natural resources and is highly dependent on peanut exports
Georgia Foreign investment and economic reform have driven growth. Agriculture, including wine-making, is a key sector
Germany Europe's largest economy, Germany is a leading manufacturer and exporter. Vehicles, machines and chemicals are key sectors
Ghana Ghana is the world's second largest cocoa producer behind Ivory Coast, and Africa's biggest gold miner after South Africa. It is one of the continent's fastest growing economies, and newest oil producer
Greece Enormous debts have sent Greece into deep recession. Multi-billion-euro bailouts from the EU and IMF are conditional on tough austerity measures
Guam Tourism and the US military bases provide the island with its main sources of income
Guinea Guinea is a leading bauxite exporter, but most of its people live on less than $1 a day
Guinea-Bissau Political instability and mismanagement have undermined the economy. Country is dependent on primary crops - mainly cashew nuts - and subsistence agriculture. Government often struggles to pay wages.
Haiti The 2010 earthquake and 2012 hurricane have left an already weak economy in ruins. Unemployment is chronic, and severe deforestation gives crops little chance to recover
Hungary Since 2010, the Hungarian government has pursued "unorthodox" economic policies that include aggressive taxes on foreign-owned companies
Iceland Iceland is emerging steadily from a recession caused by the 2008 collapse of its economy and banking system
India Fast-growing economy; large, skilled workforce but widespread poverty
Iran Iran holds 9% of world oil reserves; a critical shortfall in jobs has hit the young, and international sanctions have badly affected the economy as a whole
Iraq Violence and sabotage has hindered efforts to revive an economy shattered by decades of conflict and sanctions; Iraq has the world's third largest reserves of crude oil but attacks, corruption and smuggling have crippled exports
Ireland Ireland was confined to a financial straitjacket by international lenders from 2010 to 2013 after debt and deficit problems brought the economy close to collapse
Israel Israel has a diverse and sophisticated economy
Italy Italy has the eurozone's third largest economy and a huge public debt - second only to Greece's
Jamaica Jamaica is one of the world's most indebted nations; bauxite and alumina production and tourism are key sectors
Japan Japan has the world's third-largest economy; its multinationals are household names. But a spiralling public debt has hampered competitiveness
Jordan Jordan has few natural resources; its economic fortunes have been undermined by instability within the region; it is heavily dependent on aid but the economy has been growing
Kenya The economy has been recovering over recent years
Kuwait Kuwait is one of the world's leading oil producers
Laos One of the world's poorest nations, Laos has little industry and relies on foreign aid; hopes are pinned on a hydroelectric project
Latvia Latvia made a rapid transformation to a market economy after independence; it joined the eurozone in 2014
Lesotho Lesotho depends on South Africa as an employer, and as buyer of its main natural resource - water. Textile exports have been hurt by the erosion of trade concessions, but appear to be expanding again
Liberia The infrastructure is in ruins. The UN voted to lift a ban on diamond exports, which fuelled the civil war, in April 2007. A ban on timber exports was lifted in 2006
Libya Libya has large reserves of oil and gas
Liechtenstein Liechtenstein has tried to shake off its image as a tax haven and to reposition itself as a legitimate financial centre
Lithuania Lithuania aims to enter the eurozone by 2015. The former centre-right government of Andrius Kubilius introduced a tough austerity drive to counter the impact of the global recession
Luxembourg Financial services and steel production are economic mainstays. Luxembourg is home to the European Investment Bank
Madagascar Madagascar is the world's leading producer of vanilla. Many areas suffer food shortages
Malawi More than half the population lives below the poverty line. Moves are under way to exploit uranium reserves to boost meagre export earnings, and there are plans to explore Lake Malawi for oil and gas
Mali Mali is among the 25 poorest countries. It is highly dependant on gold mining and agricultural exports such as cotton
Malta Financial services, tourism and manufacturing are key sectors
Mauritania Mauritania depends heavily on drought-prone agriculture; its rich coastal fishing grounds are threatened by over-exploitation; offshore oil exploitation began in 2006
Mauritius Political stability and efforts to diversify have helped Mauritius become one of Africa's most prosperous economies.
Mexico Latin America's second largest economy is heavily dependent on oil, but has seen a boom in foreign investment since the recession of 2008-9
Moldova One of Europe's poorest countries, Moldova depends on agricultural exports and transfers from citizens working abroad
Monaco Monaco does not impose income tax and is a haven for wealthy individuals and foreign companies. Banking and tourism are key sectors
Mongolia Chinese demand for minerals fuels a mining boom, but many Mongolians live in poverty
Montenegro The tourism and real estate sectors have been gaining in importance
Mozambique Mozambique was one of world's poorest countries in 1975, but has emerged as one of the fastest growing economies. It is expected to become one of the world's largest exporters of coking and thermal coal, as well as liquefied natural gas
Namibia Main trading partner is South Africa. Government keen to step up land acquisitions from white farmers
Nepal Civil strife wrecked the economy and Nepal is dependent on aid; tourism is a key foreign exchange earner
Netherlands The economy is primarily services-based but trade also plays a major role
New Zealand The country officially went into recession in September 2008, for the first time in ten years
Nicaragua Nicaragua is the second poorest nation in the Americas, after Haiti; all governments since 1990 have pursued broadly market-friendly policies
Niger Niger is a leading producer of uranium, and is rich in other minerals. It started pumping oil in 2011. UN rates it as one of world's poorest countries
Nigeria Nigeria is Africa's leading oil producer; more than half of its people live in poverty
North Korea North Korea's command economy is dilapidated, hit by natural disasters, poor planning and a failure to modernise
Norway Norway enjoys massive oil and gas wealth. Surplus revenue is invested in a sovereign wealth fund. Unemployment is low
Oman Oman is heavily dependent on oil; a diversification drive includes tourism; the policy of Omanisation aims to replace expatriate workers with locals
Panama The canal brings in a large chunk of Panama's GDP, with offshore finance, manufacturing and a growing tourism sector also fuelling strong growth. Bananas are the main cash crop.
Papua New Guinea With abundant oil and natural gas reserves, Papua New Guinea has potential to become major energy exporter
Paraguay Agriculture, including subsistence farming, is the main economic activity. Brazil is Paraguay's biggest trading partner
Peru Peru has seen growth, but the lot of the rural poor is little improved; the US and Peru have agreed a free trade deal
Philippines The Philippines has recovered steadily from the 2008 world financial crisis, and the prospect of peace with Muslim rebels could enourage foreign investment in the resources-rich south
Poland The economy has boomed since EU accession in 2004, and Poland is one of the region's top-performing countries. Unemployment remains high
Portugal Eurozone member Portugal was bailed out by the EU and IMF in 2011 with a 78bn-euro package. The loan came in exchange for a pledge to reduce the public deficit
Puerto Rico Tourism is an important earner
Qatar Qatar is one of the wealthiest countries in the region because of oil; the government has encouraged diversification
Republic of Macedonia Macedonia has seen steady economic growth since independence, but remains one of Europe's poorest countries with high unemployment
Romania After years of growth, Romania was hit by the global financial downturn. In 2010, it implemented austerity measures demanded in an IMF-led bailout
Russia Russia is heavily dependent on oil and gas exports. Officials have been hesitant to privatise energy assets
Rwanda Growth exceeded 5% in the five years since 2001, driven by coffee and tea exports and expanding tourism; poverty is widespread and Rwanda is highly dependent on aid
Saint Kitts and Nevis Tourism is a key foreign exchange earner and has helped compensate for the loss of the sugar industry
Saint Lucia Tourism is the largest economic sector. There is an offshore banking industry
Samoa The economy is heavily dependent on agricultural exports, tourism and financial assistance from Samoans living abroad
Sao Tome and Principe Sao Tome hopes to reduce dependence on donors and cocoa exports by exploiting offshore oil. The award of exploration contracts has been controversial
Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia is the world's dominant oil producer and owner of the largest hydrocarbon reserves; rapidly growing unemployment is a major challenge
Senegal Agriculture drives the economy; tourism is a source of foreign exchange
Serbia Serbia has long been mired in a deep economic crisis, and faces further painful reforms as a condition of EU membership
Seychelles Tourism and the fishing industry are the country's biggest foreign exchange earners
Singapore Singapore's strong economy is driven by electronics manufacturing and financial services
Slovakia Eurozone member Slovakia has seen rapid economic growth, driven by exports of electronic goods and cars
Slovenia Slovenia's export-dependent economy was badly hit in the global economic crisis. Austerity measures have met with popular resistance
South Africa One of continent's biggest economies. Poverty widespread, high crime rate associated with high unemployment. Economy moved into recession in May 2009
Spain Spain was hit hard in the 2008-9 global economic crisis, and has undertaken painful austerity measures. More than 27% of Spaniards are unemployed
Sudan Oil production and revenues have been rising
Suriname Bauxite mining is a key sector. Oil prospectors are seeking to tap offshore reserves. Gold reserves have attracted foreign investors and prospectors
Swaziland Thousands have lost their jobs as garment and sugar export industries have lost trading concessions
Sweden Engineering is a key sector in the export-based economy. Voters have rejected eurozone membership
Switzerland Switzerland is a centre of global wealth. Investors use its banks as a safe haven from world financial turmoil. Banking secrecy is a cornerstone of the industry, but has come under fire outside Switzerland
Syria The under-performing state-run economy has been hard hit by the conflict
Taiwan It is a major producer of computer technology; the main export market for Taiwanese goods is China
Tajikistan Tajikistan is Central Asia's poorest nation and it depends on oil and gas imports
Tanzania Annual growth rate has averaged 6.7% since 2006, one of the best in sub-Sahara Africa. Power supplies are erratic and fall short of demand. Gold earnings have been rising, and the find of a major offshore gas field is promising
Thailand Thailand has an export-led economy, but tourism is also a major industry
The Bahamas The Bahamas is one of the region's most prosperous countries. Tourism and offshore finance are important industries
Togo Togo is among the world's poorest countries. Isolation has further aggravated its weak economy
Tonga Agriculture is Tonga's main industry and unemployment is high
Trinidad and Tobago Natural gas, oil and chemicals are key industrial sectors and export earners
Tunisia The diverse economy has grown steadily and the slum population has halved, but the world recession has pushed unemployment up in recent years
Turkey The economy has enjoyed strong growth, fuelled by trade and foreign investment. Tourism, agriculture and manufacturing are key sectors
Turkmenistan It has large natural gas reserves but poverty levels are high
Tuvalu Tuvalu has few natural resources and imports most of its food
Uganda Uganda is vulnerable to changes in the world price of coffee, its main export earner. Oil discoveries have boosted prospects
Ukraine Dependence on steel exports makes Ukraine vulnerable to global financial turmoil. Ukraine received a multibillion-dollar loan from the IMF in 2008 but a further loan approved in 2010 was subsequently frozen
United Arab Emirates The people of the UAE generally enjoy a high standard of living because of oil wealth; diversification has dampened the shocks of oil price fluctuations; the UAE is a regional trading and tourism hub
United Kingdom The UK is striving to recover from a slump that followed the 2008 global financial crisis. Austerity measures aim to tackle a large budget deficit. London's financial industry is a significant part of the services-based economy
United States The US is the world's leading industrial power. Its recovery from the 2008 economic crisis has been sluggish
Uruguay Uruguay is recovering from economic upheaval in 2002, brought on by recessions in Brazil, Argentina
Vanuatu Its main industries are eco-tourism and agriculture
Venezuela Venezuela is a major oil producer; export revenues fund huge social programmes
Vietnam It is becoming a major manufacturing centre; it is the second biggest supplier of clothes to the US
Yemen Yemen is the poorest country in the Middle East; economic difficulties have sparked unrest
Zambia Improved copper prices and investment in mining have improved prospects for export earnings
Zimbabwe Economy appears to be stabilising after years of crisis with rampant inflation, "de-industrialisation" and shortages of food and fuel. Agricultural production has shrunk

Citation

"Countries Compared by Economy > Summary. International Statistics at NationMaster.com", British Broadcasting Corporation 2014. Aggregates compiled by NationMaster. Retrieved from http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Economy/Summary

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