flag Turkmenistan Turkmenistan: Economic Outline

Economic Indicators

Turkmenistan is a predominantly desert country, sparsely populated (population density is ten people per square kilometre), and its economy depends mostly on agriculture (mainly cotton), oil, and natural gas (fourth-largest natural gas reserves in the world, representing about 10% of global reserves). Turkmenistan's economy enjoys regular revenues from hydrocarbons and limited exposure to international financial markets. GDP growth averaged 0.8% in the period 2016-2021. The IMF estimates that post-pandemic growth surged to 5.3% in 2022 before easing to 2% in 2023. The economy is anticipated to grow by approximately 2.3% in 2024 and in the medium term. Growth in hydrocarbon production is forecasted to stabilize at around 2%, while non-hydrocarbon growth is expected to stay muted. This is attributed to several factors including the challenging geopolitical and business landscape, investment inefficiencies, significant overvaluation of the real exchange rate, and regulatory burdens that exceed international standards (IMF).

In 2023, the state budget surplus decreased by 0.4 percentage points to 0.6% of GDP, with tax revenue declining by 2.2%, notably including a 21% decrease in natural resource tax receipts. This decline in revenue is attributed to the nature of gas exports, which are governed by long-term contracts frequently linking revenue to oil prices. Meanwhile, expenditure increased by 1.9%, and capital expenditure from the state budget rose to 0.7% of GDP. Fitch predicts that the fiscal surplus will further narrow to 0.1% of GDP in 2024 and transition into a deficit of 0.5% in 2025, reflecting the impact of lower energy prices. Public debt decreased to 4.3% of GDP by the end of 2023, down from 10% at the end of 2021, and Fitch anticipates a further decline to 3.5% by the end of 2025. The Turkmenistan Stabilisation Fund (TSF), which is entirely denominated in local currency, increased by TMT 5.5 billion in 2023, reaching TMT 32 billion, of which TMT 17.2 billion (equivalent to 6.1% of GDP) represented fiscal reserves held at the central bank. In 2022, disinflation briefly shifted to deflation in 2023 due to the decline in global commodity prices, tightening of monetary policy, and easing of exchange rate pressures. However, inflation started to rise again in the latter half of 2023. The current account surplus decreased from 7% of GDP in 2022 to 4.8% in 2023. As per the IMF, inflation is projected to gradually rise to 8% due to the long-standing policy of increasing public sector wages and pensions by 10% annually and looser monetary conditions. As recommended by the IMF, it is crucial to promptly implement reforms in public financial management and state-owned enterprises (SOEs). This involves executing the 2014 Budget Code, which has been postponed, to establish a unified treasury account, operationalize medium-term budgeting, and enhance fiscal reporting and transparency. Additionally, the authorities should expedite enhancements in SOEs' corporate governance, which includes strengthening independent oversight functions and promoting transparency by mandating the publication of audited financial statements.

Official data on poverty and unemployment are questionable and dated, whereas the proportion of the employed population below USD 2.15 a day (PPP) in 2023 was only 0.5% as per the Asian Development Bank's latest data. According to figures from the World Bank modelled on estimates from the International Labour Organisation, the unemployment rate was stable at 4.1% in 2023, with a consistent part of the active population being employed in the public sector. The country's GDP per capita (PPP) was estimated at USD 19,929 in 2023 by the IMF.

Main Indicators 20222023 (E)2024 (E)2025 (E)2026 (E)
GDP (billions USD) 77.9677.1181.9089.0097.01
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change)
GDP per Capita (USD) 12,12311,83312,41213,32914,366
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP)
Inflation Rate (%) 11.2-
Current Account (billions USD) 5.483.663.322.511.46
Current Account (in % of GDP)

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database - October 2021.

Note: (e) Estimated Data

Monetary Indicators 20162017201820192020
Turkmenistan Manat (TMM) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 GBP 4.735.325.504.384.49

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.


Main Sectors of Industry

Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment) 22.3 34.2 43.4
Value Added (in % of GDP) 11.0 43.0 48.3
Value Added (Annual % Change) 14.0 29.3 13.6

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.


The Active Population in Figures

Labour Force 2,348,3692,380,5962,360,858

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database

Total activity rate 61.29%61.25%61.20%
Men activity rate 75.44%75.43%75.41%
Women activity rate 47.66%47.57%47.49%

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database


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Indicator of Economic Freedom


The Economic freedom index measure ten components of economic freedom, grouped into four broad categories or pillars of economic freedom: Rule of Law (property rights, freedom from corruption); Limited Government (fiscal freedom, government spending); Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labour freedom, monetary freedom); and Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom). Each of the freedoms within these four broad categories is individually scored on a scale of 0 to 100. A country’s overall economic freedom score is a simple average of its scores on the 10 individual freedoms.

World Rank:
Regional Rank:

Economic freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Index of Economic Freedom, Heritage Foundation


Country Risk

See the country risk analysis provided by Coface.


Indicator of Political Freedom


The Indicator of Political Freedom provides an annual evaluation of the state of freedom in a country as experienced by individuals. The survey measures freedom according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties. The ratings process is based on a checklist of 10 political rights questions (on Electoral Process, Political Pluralism and Participation, Functioning of Government) and 15 civil liberties questions (on Freedom of Expression, Belief, Associational and Organizational Rights, Rule of Law, Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights). Scores are awarded to each of these questions on a scale of 0 to 4, where a score of 0 represents the smallest degree and 4 the greatest degree of rights or liberties present. The total score awarded to the political rights and civil liberties checklist determines the political rights and civil liberties rating. Each rating of 1 through 7, with 1 representing the highest and 7 the lowest level of freedom, corresponds to a range of total scores.

Not Free
Political Freedom:

Political freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Freedom in the World Report, Freedom House


Indicator of Freedom of the Press


The world rankings, published annually, measures violations of press freedom worldwide. It reflects the degree of freedom enjoyed by journalists, the media and digital citizens of each country and the means used by states to respect and uphold this freedom. Finally, a note and a position are assigned to each country. To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) prepared a questionnaire incorporating the main criteria (44 in total) to assess the situation of press freedom in a given country. This questionnaire was sent to partner organisations,150 RWB correspondents, journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists. It includes every kind of direct attacks against journalists and digital citizens (murders, imprisonment, assault, threats, etc.) or against the media (censorship, confiscation, searches and harassment etc.).

World Rank:

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Sources of General Economic Information

Main Online Newspapers and Portals
EIN News - Turkmenistan
State News Agency of Turkmenistan
BBC News - Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan News
Useful Resources
Government of Turkmenistan
Central Bank of Turkmenistan

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Latest Update: May 2024