Due to the uncertain political situation it is difficult to assess the current economic situation and what the future growth or decline would be for the Syrian economy. The IMF does not have growth estimates since 2010 when it grew by 3.4%. The only available estimates are those indicated by the Syrian Centre for Policy Research (SCPR) in a study commissioned by the UNDP and UNRWA. This study indicates that since the onset of the political crisis the Syrian economy experienced a total loss of 103.1 billion by second quarter of 2013 that represents around 174% of the 2010 GDP in constant prices. GDP according to this report is estimated to have contracted by 34.3% in 2013(Q1) from 2012. Private investment is estimated to have contracted substantially by 23.3 per cent in 2013-Q1, and by 12.8 per cent in 2013-Q2 compared to the same quarters in 2012. Public investment declined to 23% in the first quarter of 2013 from the same period the previous year with the government reallocating resources from investment to current consumption as well as increased military spending. With no relief to the crisis in sight the economic situation is expected to continue worsening over the short and medium term. In the long run if the political situation stabilises the economy will have to deal with many economic challenges including: output and employment collapse in the trade sector; accelerated exchange rate depreciation in the parallel market; the hoarding of hard foreign currency; likely foreign exchange reserve losses; rising inflation; and legal and financial issues associated with frozen assets.
Syria's primary productive sectors are mining, manufacturing, construction, trade, transport and communications, finance and real estate are in ruins. The war has radically restructured and contracted Syria's economic sectors. Agriculture comprised 54% of GDP in the second quarter of 2013 compared with 27 percent in the first quarter providing badly needed employment, wages and a modicum of food security. Despite its growing share of GDP, agriculture contracted by 6.9 percent in each quarter compared to corresponding quarters in 2012 and crop plantings declined 15% as conditions prevented many farmers from reaching their fields. Yields and distribution has also suffered due to increasing costs of fertilizers and energy, and damaged irrigation infrastructure. Mining contracted by 49% in 2012 and in 2013 oil production fell to 18,000 barrels a day from 47,000 a day as wells became battlegrounds. Oil's GDP value, the main source of foreign currency, fell by 88 percent in the second quarter of 2013 compared to the second quarter of 2012.Â Manufacturing contracted by 23.3% in the second quarter of 2013. The wholesale and retail sector, including hotels and restaurants, contracted by 67.7% in the second quarter of 2013, after a 48.7% contraction in the first quarter, compared to corresponding quarters in 2012. Commodity prices surged due to scarcity, distribution costs, energy shortages, currency depreciation, interruptions in travel, financial flows and imports. The most badly needed goods have mostly succumbed to black markets and other informal economies. Tourism fell by 76% in the first half of 2013. Manufacturing fell by 23.3% in the second quarter of 2013 with various armed groups destroying and looting private and public factories and infrastructure. Transport declined by 46.9% in the second quarter of 2013 due to lack of fuel and maintenance services. Financial and real estate contracted 65.8% in the second quarter of 2013 as the economy as a whole has faltered, minimizing the need for financial transactions. Construction declined by 72.5% in the second quarter of 2013.
Syria's Doing Business ranking (165 out of 189 economies) declined precipitously in 2014 from its previous 147 place. The steepest declining indicators were dealing with construction permits (189), dropping 50 places, and trading across borders (147), dropping 17 places. The only improvement in Syria's ranking was the getting electricity index (82).