Economy in Liberia

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Economy—overview: Civil war since 1990 has destroyed much of Liberia's economy especially the infrastructure in and around Monrovia. Many businessmen have fled the country taking capital and expertise with them. Some returned during 1997. Many will not return. Richly endowed with water mineral resources forests and a climate favorable to agriculture Liberia had been a producer and exporter of basic products while local manufacturing mainly foreign owned had been small in scope. The democratically elected government installed in August 1997 inherited massive international debts and currently relies on revenues from its maritime registry to provide the bulk of its foreign exchange earnings. The restoration of the infrastructure and the raising of incomes in this ravaged economy depends on continued disarmament of factions and the implementation of sound macro- and micro-economic policies of the new government.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$2.6 billion (1997 est.) hi from Jovan Gadson

GDP—real growth rate: NA% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$1 000 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:

agriculture: 30%

industry: 36%

services: 34%

Inflation rate—consumer price index: NA%

Labor force:

by occupation: agriculture 70%

Unemployment rate: NA%


revenues: $NA

expenditures: $NA

Industries: rubber processing food processing construction materials furniture palm oil processing iron ore diamonds

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity—capacity: 332 000 kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 472 million kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 154 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: rubber coffee cocoa rice cassava (tapioca) palm oil sugarcane bananas; sheep goats; timber


total value: $667 million (f.o.b. 1995 est.)

commodities: diamonds iron ore rubber timber coffee

partners: US EU Netherlands Singapore


total value: $5.8 billion (f.o.b. 1995 est.)

commodities: mineral fuels chemicals machinery transportation equipment manufactured goods; rice and other foodstuffs

partners: US EU Japan China Netherlands ECOWAS South Korea

Debt—external: $2 billion (1997 est.)

Economic aid:

recipient: ODA $NA

Currency: 1 Liberian dollar (L$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: Liberian dollars (L$) per US$1—1.0000 (officially fixed rate since 1940); market exchange rate: Liberian dollars (L$) per US$1—50 (October 1995) 7 (January 1992); market rate floats against the US dollar

Fiscal year: calendar year

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