Economy of Nauru

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Economy - overview: Revenues of this tiny island have come from exports of phosphates, but reserves are expected to be exhausted within five to ten years. Phosphate production has declined since 1989, as demand has fallen in traditional markets and as the marginal cost of extracting the remaining phosphate increases, making it less internationally competitive. While phosphates have given Nauruans one of the highest per capita incomes in the Third World, few other resources exist with most necessities being imported, including fresh water from Australia. The rehabilitation of mined land and the replacement of income from phosphates are serious long-term problems. In anticipation of the exhaustion of Nauru's phosphate deposits, substantial amounts of phosphate income have been invested in trust funds to help cushion the transition and provide for Nauru's economic future. The government has been borrowing heavily from the trusts to finance fiscal deficits. To cut costs the government has called for a freezing of wages, a reduction of over-staffed public service departments, privatization of numerous government agencies, and closure of some overseas consulates. In recent years Nauru has encouraged the registration of offshore banks and corporations. Tens of billions of dollars have been channeled through their accounts. Few comprehensive statistics on the Nauru economy exist, with estimates of Nauru's per capita GDP varying widely.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $59 million (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $5,000 (2000 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): -3.6% (1993)
Labor force - by occupation: employed in mining phosphates, public administration, education, and transportation
Unemployment rate: 0%
Budget:
revenues: $23.4 million
expenditures: $64.8 million (FY95/96)
Industries: phosphate mining, financial services, coconut products
Electricity - production: 30 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1999)
Electricity - consumption: 27.9 million kWh (1999)
Agriculture - products: coconuts
Exports: $25.3 million (f.o.b., 1991)
Exports - commodities: phosphates
Exports - partners: Australia, NZ
Imports: $21.1 million (c.i.f., 1991)
Imports - commodities: food, fuel, manufactures, building materials, machinery
Imports - partners: Australia, UK, NZ, Japan
Debt - external: $33.3 million
Economic aid - recipient: $2.25 million from Australia (FY96/97 est.)
Currency: Australian dollar (AUD)

SOURCE: The World Factbook

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Nauru > Map Economy