Arms Transfers

Figure 6. The World Arms Trade, 1961-1994


The World Arms Trade, 1961-1994 (26k)


The world arms trade fell in 1994 to $22 billion, a $6.4 billion or 22% drop from the previous year and a 73 % fall from the all-time peak of $83 billion a decade earlier in 1984 (in constant 1994 dollars-Figure 6 and Main Table II). The average annual rate of decline was 12% for the entire decade, which increased to 19% in the latter half, 1990-1994 (Table 4, next page). The decline has been continuous since 1987, with the largest single year drop being 31%, from 1990 to 1991. (The 1994 total of $22 billion is the same as that reported in the previous edition of WMEAT for 1993, but the latter is here revised upward to $28.6 billion for several reasons-see box.)

World arms sales agreements (as distinct from actual deliveries-that is, exports or imports) also declined generally over the decade from their 1985 peak of $73 billion to a low of $33 billion in 1992, returning to $46 billion in 1993 and falling again to $38 billion in 1994. Agreements-more erratic and less reliably estimated than deliveries-have been especially volatile recently in the United States, where they fell to $15 billion in 1992, rose to $31 billion in 1993, and dropped again to $15 billion in 1994 (in current dollars-Main Table IV).

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