In spite of being an agrarian economy, agriculture is the main stay of the people of Balasore. Agriculture contributes upto 51% of Orissa's total domestic income. Balasore in the coastal section of Orissa is blessed with hot and humid climate with alluvium soil and intersected by the perennial rivers, which collectively provides conducive infrastructure for the growth of agriculture in this region. The coastal region is mainly drained by the brackish water of the estuarine rivers, which does not support the production of food crops. Formerly this region was unutilized. In the recent years, the utilization of the wasteland for ensuring the economic development of Balasore has been taken into consideration and it is being used for the production of coconut and betel. The land reforms programs have already been planned for the maximum usage of wasteland and the hybrid varieties of seeds to ensure the productivity of the crops, thereby enhancing the economic stability of Balasore.
Since the network of the perennial rivers drains Balasore, irrigation facility is well organized. Among the three sub divisions of Balasore, the contiguous alluvium plain is the site of food crop cultivation. The local economy of Balasore largely depends on the cultivation of paddy and wheat.
Though a major section of Orissa's population depends on agriculture, industry is the nucleus of the economic development of Balasore. In the financial years, government has planned for the promotion of large and medium scale industries including the small handicraft and cottage industries. The undivided Balasore District was tagged as a "no industry district". With the establishment of D.I.C (District Industrial Center), functioning from the year 1978, Balasore has witnessed prominent success in the field of industrial development.
D.I.C provides the single window facilities to the entrepreneurs interested for setting up small-scale industry unit (SSI) in Balasore. Moreover it provides inputs like finance, IDCO / Govt. land and Shed, scarce raw- materials, power as well as marketing assistance through various related organizations, thereby ensuring economic development of Balasore.
Apart from the government undertakings and the public sectors, a group of private entrepreneurs have come up, which accentuated the industrial development prominent in the economic scenario of Balasore. These industries in the recent times not only provide employment to the local populace but at the same time accounts for a quantum of exports, which supports the economy of Balasore greatly.
Balasore, in recent years has attained prominence in the international scenario for the exceptional progress it has made in the field of industry.