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Central African Republic Economy




Central African Republic    Economy Top of Page
Economy - overview: Subsistence agriculture, together with forestry, remains the backbone of the economy of the Central African Republic (CAR), with more than 70% of the population living in outlying areas. The agricultural sector generates half of GDP. Timber has accounted for about 16% of export earnings and the diamond industry for nearly 54%. Important constraints to economic development include the CAR's landlocked position, a poor transportation system, a largely unskilled work force, and a legacy of misdirected macroeconomic policies. The 50% devaluation of the currencies of 14 Francophone African nations on 12 January 1994 had mixed effects on the CAR's economy. Diamond, timber, coffee, and cotton exports increased, leading an estimated rise of GDP of 7% in 1994 and nearly 5% in 1995. Military rebellions and social unrest in 1996 were accompanied by widespread destruction of property and a drop in GDP of 2%. The IMF approved an Extended Structure Adjustment Facility in 1998 and the World Bank extended further credits in 1999 and approved a $10 million loan in early 2001. The government has set targets of 3.5% GDP growth in 2001 and 2002. As of January 2001, many civil servants were owed as much as 30 months pay, leading them to go on strike and further damaging the economy.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $6.1 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 3.5% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,700 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture:  53%

industry:  20%

services:  27% (1999 est.)
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%:  0.7%

highest 10%:  47.7% (1993)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3% (2000 est.)
Labor force: NA
Unemployment rate: 6% (1993)
Budget: revenues:  $638 million

expenditures:  $1.9 billion, including capital expenditures of $888 million (1994 est.)
Industries: diamond mining, sawmills, breweries, textiles, footwear, assembly of bicycles and motorcycles
Industrial production growth rate: NA%
Electricity - production: 102 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel:  20.59%

hydro:  79.41%

nuclear:  0%

other:  0% (1999)
Electricity - consumption: 94.9 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1999)
Agriculture - products: cotton, coffee, tobacco, manioc (tapioca), yams, millet, corn, bananas; timber
Exports: $166 million (f.o.b., 2000)
Exports - commodities: diamonds, timber, cotton, coffee, tobacco
Exports - partners: Benelux 64%, Cote d'Ivoire, Spain, China, Egypt, France (1999)
Imports: $154 million (f.o.b., 2000)
Imports - commodities: food, textiles, petroleum products, machinery, electrical equipment, motor vehicles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, consumer goods, industrial products
Imports - partners: France 35%, Cameroon 13%, Benelux, Cote d'Ivoire, Germany, Japan (1999)
Debt - external: $790 million (1999 est.)
Economic aid - recipient: $172.2 million (1995); note - traditional budget subsidies from France
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 - 699.21 (January 2001), 711.98 (2000), 615.70 (1999), 589.95 (1998), 583.67 (1997), 511.55 (1996); note - from 1 January 1999, the XAF is pegged to the euro at a rate of 655.957 XAF per euro
Fiscal year: calendar year

 

Countryfacts Information Courtesy: CIA Worldbook








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