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Congo, Republic of the Economy
Economy - overview:
The economy is a mixture of village agriculture and handicrafts, an industrial sector based largely on oil, support services, and a government characterized by budget problems and overstaffing. Oil has supplanted forestry as the mainstay of the economy, providing a major share of government revenues and exports. In the early 1980s, rapidly rising oil revenues enabled the government to finance large-scale development projects with GDP growth averaging 5% annually, one of the highest rates in Africa. The government has mortgaged a substantial portion of its oil earnings, contributing to a shortage of revenues. The 12 January 1994 devaluation of Franc Zone currencies by 50% resulted in inflation of 61% in 1994, but inflation has subsided since. Economic reform efforts continued with the support of international organizations, notably the World Bank and the IMF. The reform program came to a halt in June 1997 when civil war erupted. Denis SASSOU-NGUESSO, who returned to power when the war ended in October 1997, publicly expressed interest in moving forward on economic reforms and privatization and in renewing cooperation with international financial institutions. However, economic progress was badly hurt by slumping oil prices and the resumption of armed conflict in December 1998, which worsened the republic's budget deficit. The current administration presides over an uneasy internal peace and faces difficult economic problems of stimulating recovery and reducing poverty.
GDP:
purchasing power parity - $2.148 billion (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
1.3% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $700 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 6.9%
industry: 53.9%
services: 39.2% (2003 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
31.3% of GDP (2003)
Population below poverty line:
NA
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA
highest 10%: NA
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2.4% (2003 est.)
Labor force:
NA (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate:
NA (2003)
Budget:
revenues: $1.025 billion
expenditures: $946.8 million, including capital expenditures of NA (2003 est.)
Industries:
petroleum extraction, cement, lumber, brewing, sugar, palm oil, soap, flour, cigarettes
Industrial production growth rate:
0% (2002 est.)
Electricity - production:
358.1 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 0.3%
hydro: 99.7%
other: 0% (2001)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
633 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
300 million kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
275,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
5,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA (2001)
Oil - proved reserves:
93.5 million bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
495.5 million cu m (1 January 2002)
Agriculture - products:
cassava (tapioca), sugar, rice, corn, peanuts, vegetables, coffee, cocoa; forest products
Current account balance:
$139.2 million (2003)
Exports:
$2.293 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Exports - commodities:
petroleum, lumber, plywood, sugar, cocoa, coffee, diamonds
Exports - partners:
China 27.1%, South Korea 21.4%, US 15.2%, Taiwan 14.4% (2003 est.)
Imports:
$666.9 million f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports - commodities:
capital equipment, construction materials, foodstuffs
Imports - partners:
France 22.4%, US 6.9%, Italy 6.3%, China 5.2%, Belgium 4.7%, India 4.4% (2003 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange & gold:
$44.53 million (2003)
Debt - external:
$5 billion (2000 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$159.1 million (1995)
Currency:
Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF); note - responsible authority is the Bank of the Central African States
Currency code:
XAF
Exchange rates:
Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XAF) per US dollar - 581.2 (2003), 696.988 (2002), 733.039 (2001), 711.98 (2000), 615.7 (1999)
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