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Yugoslavia: The Industrial Structure in 1990
Country Study > Chapter 3 > The Economy > Structure of the Economy > Industry > The Industrial Structure in 1990


By the 1980s, four decades of intensive investment had yielded significant expansion in the range and depth of Yugoslav industrial output. In 1986 the largest proportions of national industrial output came from production of electrical energy (12.5 percent); food processing, machinery, and transport equipment (each almost 11 percent); textiles (over 10 percent); metalworking (8.2 percent); and chemicals (6.9 percent). Because industrial policy in the 1970s emphasized domestic selfsufficiency in manufactured goods, domestic markets received larger proportions of industrial output from that time; Yugoslav industry was able to meet a high percentage of domestic demand for consumer goods under these conditions.

Despite its impressive growth, Yugoslav industry in 1990 was beset by a number of problems. Imbalances in investment since the 1950s had resulted in an inadequate supply infrastructure for electrical power, water, and transport. In addition, many domestic firms were unable to meet customer demands because of shortages in raw materials, components, and spare parts for machinery. In some industries, low quality precluded export of Yugoslav goods. Decentralization of investment decision making in the 1960s frustrated intersectional and interregional investment. Neither federal nor republic authorities had sufficient investment funds to finance expansion of basic industries, and enterprises were reluctant to place funds outside their home republics. In this way, republics and provinces became economically isolated from one another. The 1990 reforms were designed to improve capital mobility and structural imbalances by giving the federal government more power in macroeconomic policy making areas such as investment targeting.

By the end of the 1980s, the agricultural predominance of the 1940s had given way to an industrial system whose diversity resembled that of the developed West. In 1945 three quarters of the country's population was employed in agriculture, compared with 25 percent in 1987. In 1987 agriculture and fishing contributed only 11 percent of the Yugoslav GMP, compared with 45 percent from manufacturing and mining.

Data as of December 1990

Last Updated: December 1990

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Yugoslavia was first published in 1990. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

Yugoslavia Main Page Country Studies Main Page

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