The financial situation of Syria
In the years leading up to the civil war in Syria, the level of debt in Syria in relation to GDP had decreased dramatically from 152 percent in 2000 to around 30 percent in 2010. During that same period, GDP growth was high, except for one downward spike in 2003, exports increased and the ratio of government expenditure to GDP was on the decline. But despite gains, the trade balance and the budget balance were still in the red. Syria also reported a fluctuating inflation rate, but in 2008, it reached 15 percent. The ratio of government expenditure also began to rise again between 2008 and 2010.
Tensions are also thought to have been caused by agricultural displacement, both economic and geographic: In 2001, almost 30 percent of the Syrian population worked in the agricultural sector, and by 2011, their share had been reduced to around 14 percent. The agricultural share in GDP also dropped during this period. This was likely caused by one of the worst droughts Syria had ever experienced, causing people to immigrate to the cities to find work, but during a time when unemployment was relatively high. Obviously, decreasing debt was overshadowed by other more important cultural, political and economic factors which led to the civil war.