Timor-Leste: Economy#

Since its 1999 independence, Timor-Leste has faced great challenges in rebuilding its infrastructure, strengthening the civil administration, and generating jobs for young people entering the work force. The development of oil and gas resources in offshore waters has greatly supplemented government revenues. This technology-intensive industry, however, has done little to create jobs for the unemployed in part because there are no production facilities in Timor-Leste. Gas is piped to Australia. In June 2005, the National Parliament unanimously approved the creation of a Petroleum Fund to serve as a repository for all petroleum revenues and to preserve the value of Timor-Leste's petroleum wealth for future generations. The Fund held assets of US$9.3 billion as of December 2011. The economy continues to recover from the mid-2006 outbreak of violence and civil unrest, which disrupted both private and public sector economic activity. Government spending increased markedly from 2009 through 2012, primarily on basic infrastructure, including electricity and roads. Limited experience in procurement and infrastructure building has hampered these projects. The underlying economic policy challenge the country faces remains how best to use oil-and-gas wealth to lift the non-oil economy onto a higher growth path and to reduce poverty. On the strength of its oil-wealth, the economy has achieved real growth between 8-12% per year for the last several years, among the highest sustained growth rates in the world.

Economic Facts#

GDP (purchasing power parity)$25.41 billion (2013 est.)
$23.51 billion (2012 est.)
$21.72 billion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
GDP - real growth rate8.1% (2013 est.)
8.3% (2012 est.)
12% (2011 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$21,400 (2013 est.)
$20,400 (2012 est.)
$19,400 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
GDP - composition, by sector of originagriculture: 2.6%
industry: 81.6%
services: 15.8% (2013 est.)
Population below poverty line41% (2009 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 4%
highest 10%: 27% (2007)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 64%
industry: 10%
services: 26% (2010)
Exports - commoditiesoil, coffee, sandalwood, marble
note: potential for vanilla exports
Agriculture - productscoffee, rice, corn, cassava (manioc, tapioca), sweet potatoes, soybeans, cabbage, mangoes, bananas, vanilla
Budgetrevenues: $1.6 billion
expenditures: $1.7 billion (2013 est.)
Imports - commoditiesfood, gasoline, kerosene, machinery
Exchange ratesthe US dollar is used
Exports$34.1 million (2011 est.)
$17.8 million (2010 est.)
note: excludes oil
Fiscal yearcalendar year
Imports$689 million (2011 est.)
$378 million (2010 est.)
Industrial production growth rate6.2% (2013 est.)
Industriesprinting, soap manufacturing, handicrafts, woven cloth
Inflation rate (consumer prices)4.5% (2013 est.)
11.8% (2012 est.)
Labor force418,200 (2009)
Unemployment rate18.4% (2010 est.)
20% (2006 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index31.9 (2007 est.)
38 (2002 est.)
Current account balance$2.375 billion (2011 est.)
$1.161 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$6.129 billion
note: non-oil GDP (2013 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
Commercial bank prime lending rate12.3% (31 December 2013 est.)
12.21% (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$-300 million (31 December 2013 est.)
$-681 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of narrow money$203.2 million (31 December 2013 est.)
$205.8 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of broad money$433.4 million (31 December 2013 est.)
$407 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Taxes and other revenues26.1% of GDP (2013 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-1.6% of GDP (2013 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 16.7%
government consumption: 22.3%
investment in fixed capital: 16.5%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 74%
imports of goods and services: -29.5%
(2013 est.)