Albania remains a poor country by Western European standards.[52] Its GDP per capita (expressed in PPS—Purchasing Power Standards) stood at 26 percent of the EU average in 2010.[53] Still, Albania has shown potential for economic growth, as more and more businesses relocate there and consumer goods are becoming available from emerging market traders as part of the current massive global cost-cutting exercise. Albania and Cyprus are the only countries in Europe that recorded economic growth in the first quarter of 2009. In its latest report, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Albania and Cyprus recorded increases of 0.4% and 0.3%, respectively.[54][55] There are signs of increasing investments, and power cuts are reduced to the extent that Albania is now exporting energy.[56]

Albania and Croatia have discussed the possibility of jointly building a nuclear power plant at Lake Shkoder, close to the border with Montenegro, a plan that has gathered criticism from the latter due to seismicity in the area.[57] In addition, there is some doubt whether Albania would be able to finance a project of such a scale with a total national budget of less than $ 5 billion.[58] However, in February 2009 Italian company Enel announced plans to build an 800 MW coal-fired power plant in Albania, to diversify electricity sources.[59] Nearly 100% of the electricity is generated by ageing hydroelectric power plants, which are becoming more ineffective due to increasing droughts.[59]

The country has some deposits of petroleum and natural gas, but produces only 6,425 barrels of oil per day.[60] Natural gas production, estimated at about 30 million cubic meters, is sufficient to meet consumer demands.[58] Other natural resources include coal, bauxite, copper and iron ore.

Agriculture is the most significant sector, employing some 58% of the labor force and generating about 21% of GDP. Albania produces significant amounts of wheat, corn, tobacco, figs (13th largest producer in the world) and olives.