Greenland Economy 2015

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Page last updated on June 20, 2014

Economy - overview:
The economy remains critically dependent on exports of shrimp and fish, income from resource exploration and extraction, and on a substantial subsidy from the Danish Government. The subsidy was budgeted to be about $651 million in 2012, approximately 56% of government revenues that year. The public sector, including publicly owned enterprises and the municipalities, plays the dominant role in Greenland's economy. Greenland's real GDP contracted about 1% in 2009 as a result of the global economic slowdown, but is estimated to have grown marginally in 2010-13. The relative ease with which Greenland has weathered the economic crisis is due to increased hydrocarbon and mineral exploration and extraction activities, a high level of construction activity in the Nuuk area and the increasing price of fish and shrimp. During the last decade the Greenland Home Rule Government (GHRG) pursued conservative fiscal and monetary policies, but public pressure has increased for better schools, health care and retirement systems. The Greenlandic economy has benefited from increasing catches and exports of shrimp, Greenland halibut and, more recently, crabs. Due to Greenland's continued dependence on exports of fish - which accounted for 89% of exports in 2010 - the economy remains very sensitive to foreign developments. International consortia are increasingly active in exploring for hydrocarbon resources off Greenland's western coast, and international studies indicate the potential for oil and gas fields in northern and northeastern Greenland. In May 2007 a US aluminum producer concluded a memorandum of understanding with the Greenland Home Rule Government to build an aluminum smelter and a power generation facility, which takes advantage of Greenland's abundant hydropower potential. Within the area of mining, olivine sand continues to be produced and gold production has resumed in south Greenland, while rare-earth and iron ore mineral projects have been proposed or planned elsewhere on the island. Tourism also offers another avenue of economic growth for Greenland, with increasing numbers of cruise lines now operating in Greenland's western and southern waters during the peak summer tourism season.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$2.133 billion (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 192

$2.071 billion (2010 est.)
$1.974 billion (2009 est.)
note: data are in 2011 US dollars
[see also: GDP country ranks ]

GDP (official exchange rate):
$2.16 billion (2011 est.)
[see also: GDP (official exchange rate) country ranks ]

GDP - real growth rate:
3% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 114

4.9% (2010 est.)
-2.7% (2009 est.)
[see also: GDP - real growth rate country ranks ]

GDP - per capita:
$38,400 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 30

$36,600 (2007 est.)
[see also: GDP - per capita country ranks ]

GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
agriculture: 4%
industry: 29%
services: 67% (2009 est.)

Agriculture - products:
forage crops, garden and greenhouse vegetables; sheep, reindeer; fish

fish processing (mainly shrimp and Greenland halibut); gold, niobium, tantalite, uranium, iron and diamond mining; handicrafts, hides and skins, small shipyards

Industrial production growth rate:
[see also: Industrial production growth rate country ranks ]

Labor force:
28,600 (2011)
country comparison to the world: 206
[see also: Labor force country ranks ]

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 4%
industry: 29%
services: 67% (2009 est.)

Unemployment rate:
9.4% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 102

4.2% (2010 est.)
[see also: Unemployment rate country ranks ]

Population below poverty line:
9.2% (2007 est.)
[see also: Population below poverty line country ranks ]

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

revenues: $1.72 billion
expenditures: $1.68 billion (2010)

Taxes and other revenues:
79.6% of GDP (2010)
country comparison to the world: 1
[see also: Taxes and other revenues country ranks ]

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
1.9% of GDP (2010)
country comparison to the world: 19
[see also: Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) country ranks ]

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2.8% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 107

1.7% (2010 est.)
[see also: Inflation rate (consumer prices) country ranks ]

$384.3 million (2010)
country comparison to the world: 179

$358 million (2009)
[see also: Exports country ranks ]

Exports - commodities:
fish and fish products 89%, metals 10% (2008)

Exports - partners:
Denmark 60.4%, Japan 14.6%, China 7.9% (2012)

$814.2 million (2010)
country comparison to the world: 184

$726 million (2009)
[see also: Imports country ranks ]

Imports - commodities:
machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, petroleum products

Imports - partners:
Denmark 65.4%, Sweden 17.5%, Netherlands 5.5% (2012)

Debt - external:
$36.4 million (2010)
country comparison to the world: 193

$58 million (2009)
[see also: Debt - external country ranks ]

Exchange rates:
Danish kroner (DKK) per US dollar -

5.695 (2011)
5.6241 (2012)
5.6241 (2010)
5.361 (2009)
5.0236 (2008)

NOTE: The information regarding Greenland on this page is re-published from the 2015 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Greenland Economy 2015 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Greenland Economy 2015 should be addressed to the CIA.

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