Rice fields in Laos

Laos Economy

Laos' economy in numbers:

Nominal GDP of USD 15.7 billion in 2022.

GDP per capita of USD 2,103 compared to the global average of USD 10,589.

Average real GDP growth of 5.7% over the last decade.

Share of the region's population
Share of the region's GDP

Economic structure:

In 2021, services accounted for 50% of overall GDP, manufacturing 9%, other industrial activity 25%, and agriculture 16%. Looking at GDP by expenditure, private consumption accounted for 66% of GDP in 2016, government consumption 14%, fixed investment 29%, and net exports -9%.

GDP by economic sector
GDP by type of expenditure

International trade:

In 2020, manufactured products made up 20% of total merchandise exports, mineral fuels 17%, food 28%, ores and metals 16% and agricultural raw materials 10%, with other categories accounting for 9% of the total. In the same period, manufactured products made up 63% of total merchandise imports, mineral fuels 14%, food 19%, ores and metals 1% and agricultural raw materials 3%, with other goods accounting for 0% of the total. Total exports were worth USD 8 billion in 2022, while total imports were USD 7 billion.

Key exports
Key imports
Key export partners
Key import partners

Economic growth:

The economy recorded average annual growth of 5.7% in the decade to 2022. To read more about GDP growth in Laos, go to our dedicated page.

Fiscal policy:

Laos's fiscal deficit averaged 3.8% of GDP in the decade to 2022. Find out more on our dedicated page.


The unemployment rate averaged 2.8% in the decade to 2022. For more information on Laos's unemployment click here.


Inflation averaged 5.1% in the decade to 2022. Go to our Laos inflation page for extra insight.

Monetary Policy:

Laos's monetary policy rate ended 2022 at 6.50%, up from 5.00% a decade earlier. See our Laos monetary policy page for additional details.

Exchange Rate:

From end-2012 to end-2022 the kip weakened by 53.7% vs the U.S. dollar. For more info on the kip, click here.
GDP growth likely accelerated for the third consecutive year in 2023, boosted by looser Covid-19 restrictions and increased traffic via the Laos-China railway. In addition, news reports indicate that the energy and mining sector recorded a strong expansion during the year. However, a ballooning public debt stock and a shortage of foreign currency will have constrained growth. Additionally, inflation averaged over 30% last year, with the kip continuing to weaken, hurting private spending. Moreover, according to the local authorities, the kip’s depreciation also hurt farmers by raising prices for fuel, seeds and fertilizers, negatively affecting agricultural output. Turning to 2024, the government recently expressed its willingness to embrace an import-substitution policy to foster domestic production—a move that could nonetheless spur inflation further.
Projections out to 2033.

33 indicators covered including both annual and quarterly frequencies.

Consensus Forecasts based on a panel of 9 expert analysts.

Want to get insight on the economic outlook for Laos in the coming years? FocusEconomics collects projections out to 2033 on 33 economic indicators for Laos from a panel of 9 analysts at the leading national, regional and global forecast institutions. These projections are then validated by our in-house team of economists and data analysts, and averaged to provide one Consensus Forecast you can rely on for each indicator. This means you avoid the risk of relying on out of date, biased or outlier forecasts. Our Consensus Forecasts can be visualized in whichever way best suits your needs, including via interactive online dashboards , direct data delivery and executive-style reports which combine analysts' projections with timely written analysis from our in-house team of economists on the latest developments in the Laos economy. To download a sample report on the Laos' economy, click here . To get in touch with our team for more information, fill in the form at the bottom of this page .

Laos Economic Data

2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Population (million) 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5
GDP (USD bn) 18.1 18.7 19.0 18.8 15.5
GDP per capita (USD) 2,553 2,599 2,593 2,536 2,069
GDP (LAK bn) 152,414 162,657 171,705 182,584 217,108
Economic Growth (Nominal GDP, ann. var. %) 8.3 6.7 5.6 6.3 18.9
Economic Growth (GDP, ann. var. %) 6.2 5.5 0.5 2.5 2.7
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP) -4.7 -3.3 -5.6 -1.3 -1.6
Public Debt (% of GDP) 60.6 69.1 76.0 92.4 -
Money (ann. var. of M2 %) 8.4 18.9 16.3 24.0 36.9
Inflation (CPI, ann. var. %, aop) 2.0 3.3 5.1 3.8 23.0
Exchange Rate (LAK per USD, eop) 8,551 8,888 9,279 11,155 17,210
Exchange Rate (LAK per USD, aop) 8,415 8,706 9,053 9,737 14,279
Current Account Balance (USD bn) -1.6 -1.3 -0.2 0.4 0.0
Current Account Balance (% of GDP) -9.1 -7.0 -1.2 2.4 -0.1
Merchandise Trade Balance (USD bn) -0.9 -0.5 0.7 1.4 1.0
Merchandise Exports (USD bn) 5.4 5.8 6.1 7.7 8.2
Merchandise Imports (USD bn) 6.3 6.3 5.4 6.3 7.2
Merchandise Exports (ann. var. %) 11.0 7.4 5.3 25.8 6.5
Merchandise Imports (ann. var. %) 11.4 -0.7 -14.4 16.8 15.4
Foreign Direct Investment (USD bn) 1.4 0.8 1.0 1.1 0.5
International Reserves (USD bn) 1.0 1.1 1.9 2.0 1.6
International Reserves (months of imports) 1.9 2.1 4.2 3.7 2.6
External Debt (USD bn) 15.9 19.0 20.5 19.2 18.7
External Debt (% of GDP) 87.5 101.2 108.0 102.1 120.9

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