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Congo Economy 1996

    • Overview:
      Congo's 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. A reform program, supported by the IMF and World Bank, ran into difficulties in 1990-91 because of problems in changing to a democratic political regime and a heavy debt-servicing burden. Oil has supplanted forestry as the mainstay of the economy, providing about two-thirds of government revenues and exports. In the early 1980s rapidly rising oil revenues enabled Congo to finance large-scale development projects with growth averaging 5% annually, one of the highest rates in Africa. Subsequently, growth has slowed to an average of roughly 1.5% annually, only two-thirds of the population growth rate. Political turmoil and misguided government investment have derailed economic reform programs sponsored by the IMF and World Bank. Even with these difficulties Congo enjoys one of the highest incomes per capita in sub-Saharan Africa

    • National product:
      GDP - purchasing power parity - $6.7 billion (1993 est.)

    • National product real growth rate:
      -2.1% (1993 est.)

    • National product per capita:
      $2,820 (1994 est.)

    • Inflation rate (consumer prices):
      2.2% (1992 est.)

    • Unemployment rate:

    • Budget:

        $765 million

        $952 million, including capital expenditures of $65 million (1990)

    • Exports:
      $1.1 billion (f.o.b., 1993)

        crude oil 83%, lumber, plywood, sugar, cocoa, coffee, diamonds

        US, Italy, France, Spain, other EC countries

    • Imports:
      $472 million (c.i.f., 1991)

        intermediate manufactures, capital equipment, construction materials, foodstuffs

        France, US, Italy, Japan, other EC countries

    • External debt:
      $4 billion (1993)

    • Industrial production:
      growth rate 8% (1993 est.); accounts for 35% of GDP; includes petroleum

    • Electricity:

        120,000 kW

        400 million kWh

        consumption per capita:
        201 kWh (1993)

    • Industries:
      petroleum, cement, lumbering, brewing, sugar milling, palm oil, soap, cigarette

    • Agriculture:
      accounts for 12% of GDP (including fishing and forestry); cassava accounts for 90% of food output; other crops - rice, corn, peanuts, vegetables; cash crops include coffee and cocoa; forest products important export earner; imports over 90% of food needs

    • Economic aid:

        US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-90), $63 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-90), $2.5 billion; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $15 million; Communist countries (1970-89), $338 million

    • Currency:
      1 CFA franc (CFAF) = 100 centimes

    • Exchange rates:
      Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (CFAF) per US$1 - 529.43 (January 1994), 555.20 (1994), 283.16 (1993), 264.69 (1992), 282.11 (1991), 272.26 (1990)

        beginning 12 January 1994, the CFA franc was devalued to CFAF 100 per French franc from CFAF 50 at which it had been fixed since 1948

    • Fiscal year:
      calendar year

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