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Sierra Leone Economy

Sierra Leone    Economy Top of Page
Economy - overview: Sierra Leone is an extremely poor African nation with tremendous inequality in income distribution. It does have substantial mineral, agricultural, and fishery resources. However, the economic and social infrastructure is not well developed, and serious social disorders continue to hamper economic development. About two-thirds of the working-age population engages in subsistence agriculture. Manufacturing consists mainly of the processing of raw materials and of light manufacturing for the domestic market. Bauxite and rutile mines have been shut down by civil strife. The major source of hard currency is found in the mining of diamonds, the large majority of which are smuggled out of the country. The resurgence of internal warfare in 1999 brought another substantial drop in GDP, with GNP recovering part of the way in 2000. The fate of the economy depends upon the maintenance of domestic peace and the continued receipt of substantial aid from abroad.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $2.7 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 4.2% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $510 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture:  43%

industry:  26%

services:  31% (1999)
Population below poverty line: 68% (1989 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%:  0.5%

highest 10%:  43.6% (1989)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 15% (2000 est.)
Labor force: 1.369 million (1981 est.)

note:  only about 65,000 wage earners (1985)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture NA%, industry NA%, services NA%
Unemployment rate: NA%
Budget: revenues:  $96 million

expenditures:  $351 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)
Industries: mining (diamonds); small-scale manufacturing (beverages, textiles, cigarettes, footwear); petroleum refining
Industrial production growth rate: NA%
Electricity - production: 240 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel:  100%

hydro:  0%

nuclear:  0%

other:  0% (1999)
Electricity - consumption: 223.2 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1999)
Agriculture - products: rice, coffee, cocoa, palm kernels, palm oil, peanuts; poultry, cattle, sheep, pigs; fish
Exports: $65 million (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Exports - commodities: diamonds, rutile, cocoa, coffee, fish
Exports - partners: Belgium 38%, US 6%, Italy 4%, UK 4% (1999)
Imports: $145 million (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Imports - commodities: foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, fuels and lubricants, chemicals
Imports - partners: UK 34%, US 8%, Italy 7%, Nigeria 5% (1999)
Debt - external: $1.28 billion (1999)
Economic aid - recipient: $203.7 million (1995)
Currency: leone (SLL)
Currency code: SLL
Exchange rates: leones per US dollar - 1,653.39 (January 2001), 2,092.13 (2000), 1,804.20 (1999), 1,563.62 (1998), 981.48 (1997), 920.73 (1996)
Fiscal year: calendar year


Countryfacts Information Courtesy: CIA Worldbook

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