Economy in Benin

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Economy—overview: The economy of Benin remains underdeveloped and dependent on subsistence agriculture cotton production and regional trade. Growth in real output which had averaged a sound 4% during 1990-95 rose to 5.5% in 1996 and was targeted at 4.8% for 1997. Rapid population growth offset much of this growth in output. Inflation jumped to 55% in 1994 (compared to 3% in 1993) following the 50% currency devaluation in January 1994 but has subsided over the past three years with a target of 3.5% inflation in 1997. Commercial and transport activities which make up a large part of GDP are extremely vulnerable to developments in Nigeria particularly fuel shortages. Support by the Paris Club and official bilateral creditors has eased the external debt situation in recent years. The government still burdened with money-losing state enterprises and a bloated civil service has been gradually implementing a World Bank supported structural adjustment program since 1991.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$11.3 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 5.8% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$1 900 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:

agriculture: 34%

industry: 14%

services: 52% (1995)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 3.5% (1997 est.)

Labor force: NA

Unemployment rate: NA%


revenues: $299 million

expenditures: $445 million including capital expenditures of $14 million (1995 est.)

Industries: textiles cigarettes; beverages food; construction materials petroleum

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity—capacity: 15 000 kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 6 million kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 45 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: corn sorghum cassava (tapioca) yams beans rice cotton palm oil peanuts; poultry livestock


total value: $192 million (f.o.b. 1995)

commodities: cotton crude oil palm products cocoa

partners: Brazil 18% Portugal 14% Morocco Libya France


total value: $693 million (c.i.f. 1995)

commodities: foodstuffs beverages tobacco petroleum products intermediate goods capital goods light consumer goods

partners: France 27% Thailand 9% China Hong Kong

Debt—external: $1.7 billion (1995 est.)

Economic aid:

recipient: ODA $NA

Currency: 1 Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (CFAF) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: CFA francs (CFAF) per US$1—608.36 (January 1998) 583.67 (1997) 511.55 (1996) 499.15 (1995) 555.20 (1994) 283.16 (1993)

note: 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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