Economy in Cape Verde

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Economy—overview: Cape Verde's low per capita GDP reflects a poor natural resource base serious water shortages exacerbated by cycles of long-term drought and a high birth rate. The economy is service-oriented with commerce transport and public services accounting for almost 70% of GDP. Although nearly 70% of the population lives in rural areas the share of agriculture in GDP in 1995 was only 8% of which fishing accounts for 1.5%. About 90% of food must be imported. The fishing potential mostly lobster and tuna is not fully exploited. Cape Verde annually runs a high trade deficit financed by foreign aid and remittances from emigrants; remittances constitute a supplement to GDP of more than 20%. Economic reforms launched by the new democratic government in 1991 are aimed at developing the private sector and attracting foreign investment to diversify the economy. Prospects for 1998 depend heavily on the maintenance of aid flows remittances and the momentum of the government's development program.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$538 million (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 4.5% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$1 370 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:

agriculture: 8%

industry: 18%

services: 74% (1996 est.)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 6.2% (1996)

Labor force: NA

Unemployment rate: NA %


revenues: $188 million

expenditures: $228 million including capital expenditures of $116 million (1996)

Industries: food and beverages fish processing shoes and garments salt mining ship repair

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity—capacity: 7 000 kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 40 million kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 92 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: bananas corn beans sweet potatoes sugarcane coffee peanuts; fish


total value: $12.8 million (f.o.b. 1996 est.)

commodities: shoes garments fish bananas hides

partners: Portugal Spain France UK


total value: $237 million (f.o.b. 1996 est.)

commodities: foodstuffs consumer goods industrial products transport equipment fuels

partners: Portugal 41% Netherlands France Spain US

Debt—external: $202 million (1996)

Economic aid:

recipient: ODA $70 million (1995)

Currency: 1 Cape Verdean escudo (CVEsc) = 100 centavos

Exchange rates: Cape Verdean escudos (CVEsc) per US$1—95.400 (December 1997) 93.177 (1997) 82.591 (1996) 76.853 (1995) 81.891 (1994) 80.427 (1993)

Fiscal year: calendar year

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