Economy in Congo Brazzaville

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Economy—overview: The 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. Oil has supplanted forestry as the mainstay of the economy providing about 90% of government revenues and exports. In the early 1980s rapidly rising oil revenues enabled the government to finance large-scale development projects with GDP growth averaging 5% annually one of the highest rates in Africa. Subsequently falling oil prices cut GDP growth by half. Moreover the government has mortgaged a substantial portion of its oil earnings contributing to the government's shortage of revenues. The 12 January 1994 devaluation of Franc Zone currencies by 50% resulted in inflation of 61% in 1994 but inflation has subsided since. Economic reform efforts continue with the support of international organizations notably the World Bank and the IMF.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$5.25 billion (1996 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 4% (1996 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$2 000 (1996 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:

agriculture: 11.4%

industry: 35.2%

services: 53.4% (1993)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 3% (1996 est.)

Labor force: NA

Unemployment rate: NA%


revenues: $870 million

expenditures: $970 million including capital expenditures of $NA (1997 est.)

Industries: petroleum extraction cement kilning lumbering brewing sugar milling palm oil soap cigarette making

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity—capacity: 118 000 kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 438 million kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 220 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: cassava (tapioca) accounts for 90% of food output sugar rice corn peanuts vegetables coffee cocoa; forest products


total value: $1.2 billion (f.o.b. 1995)

commodities: crude oil 90% lumber plywood sugar cocoa coffee diamonds

partners: Belgium-Luxembourg 24.3% Taiwan 20.2% US 14.9% Italy 14.8% (1995 est.)


total value: $670 million (f.o.b. 1995)

commodities: intermediate manufactures capital equipment construction materials foodstuffs petroleum products

partners: France 31.2% Netherlands 24.6% Italy 11.4% US 6.9% (1995 est.)

Debt—external: $5.3 billion (1996)

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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